Dec. 21, 2015
ATLANTA (AP) Georgia Tech returned to form Monday, when leading scorer Marcus Georges-Hunt made four 3-pointers and scored 14 points as transfer players also came through to help the Yellow Jackets soothe their memories — or grow from them — by routing Southeastern Louisiana 75-62.
Charles Mitchell had 14 points and 15 rebounds, Adam Smith pitched in 16 points and James White went for 12 points and 13 rebounds for Georgia Tech. They’re all transfer students who helped the Jackets try to forget last Saturday.
Georgia Tech (8-3) fell 75-61 at Georgia two days earlier, the Jackets’ first loss to their in-state rival in five years.
They looked ready to rock against the overmatched Lions, as evidenced by Mitchell. He wore a bandage over his right eyebrow after taking an elbow a day earlier, two days after his perfect double-double streak was snapped.
Senior guard Joshua Fillmore scored 20, but SE Louisiana (2-10) offered little resistance.
“It started in practice,” said Mitchell, an Atlanta native in his second season since transferring from Maryland. “We knew after a loss we had to come together.”
Numbers mattered little for the Yellow Jackets beyond the fact the Yellow Jackets out-rebounded the Lions 43-29.
The visitors scored first, but the Jackets countered hard as three of their first four made field goals were 3-pointers, two from Georges-Hunt and another by Smith, an Atlanta area native who graduated from Virginia Tech.
He made 4 of 7 3-pointers.
White, an athletic forward also from metro Atlanta replaced Nick Jacobs, an Atlanta native who transferred from Alabama. Jacobs pitched in nine points and four rebounds off the bench.
“We knew we had our hands full,” said SE Louisiana coach Jay Ladner. “They’re smart. They’re talented, big, and just too much for us.”
After Smith’s first trey gave the Yellow Jackets an 11-2 lead, the teams held serve for a few minutes before the home team began asserting itself.
Georgia Tech busted out some long ball, too, making 9 of 22 against a team that entered the game ranked near the very bottom of the NCAA in defense against it. The Lions were No. 341, giving up a whopping 42.6 percent.
Georges-Hunt was good on 4-for-6. Georgia Tech’s leading scorer made just 1 of 4 shots at Georgia while scoring nine points. Mitchell had banked a double-double in each of Tech’s first nine games before going scoreless and grabbing four rebounds in the rival game.
Before Monday’s runaway, the Yellow Jackets got into each other.
That carried over, casting the over-matched Lions into the role of lambs.
“We had a really good practice (Sunday),” said Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory. “Look at Charles’ eye. Any time you see stitches, you know it’s a good practice.”
SE Louisiana: The Lions kept bombing away. Their 14 made 3-pointers against in a Dec. 1 win over Loyola-New Orleans were the most by any Southland Conference team this season. They kept firing against a much bigger Tech squad, but made just 4-of-16 — all by Filmore.
Georgia Tech: Gregory changed his starting lineup, swapping one local transfer player for another. White started at center in place of Jacobs.
Georgia Tech: The only Yellow Jackets starter not to score in double figures, point guard Josh Heath, nearly put up a double-digit number as he finished with nine assists in addition to his lone field goal made. Heath scored two points.
THANKS FOR THE MEMORY
SE Louisiana: The Lions led just once, for 54 seconds. Zay Jackson scored the first basket of the game, on a layup with 18:46 left in the first half. Georges-Hunt hit a 3-pointer at the 17:52 mark, and the game was never even tied after that.
SE Louisiana will play at Jackson State on Dec. 30. Georgia Tech will be home Wednesday vs. Colgate.