Dec. 18, 2010
Paradise Island, Bahamas – Iman Shumpert scored a game-high 21 points, and Georgia Tech used a smothering defense and a hot second half to capture a 67-54 win over Richmond Saturday in the Battle At Atlantis.
Shumpert carried Tech on his back for the first 20 minutes, scoring 18 of his points on six field goals and four free throws as the Yellow Jackets carried a 25-24 lead into the break. The Spiders, who came into the game hitting 51.2 percent of their shots, seventh-best in the nation, made just 33.3 percent in the first half and 39.2 percent for the game.
“I thought today was the first time we played like a Georgia Tech team,” said head coach Paul Hewitt. “We played with a level of toughness, especially on the defensive end because Richmond is a very good team. They came into this game as one of the top shooting teams in the nation, and we held them to 39 percent. These guys should be proud of their effort.”
The 6-5 Shumpert was able to play just seven minutes in the second because of cramps, but the Jackets extended their lead with a more balanced attack, getting points from seven players while hitting 60.9 percent from the floor.
The Jackets got nine points each from Glen Rice, Jr., and Moe Miller in the second half, eight from Mfon Udofia, six from Daniel Miller and five from Kammeon Holsey. With Shumpert on the bench, Rice penetrated the paint and either scored or set up others with three assists.
“Glen’s a very good ballhandler,” said Hewitt. “When Iman started having cramping problems, it was up to Glen to get it done. He rushed one early and got called for an offensive foul, but he settled down and really was the key in the second half.
Tech quickly built its lead to five, 31-26, out of the break before Richmond stormed back to take a 36-34 lead on Kevin Anderson’s three.
But Tech answered immediately by scoring on six of its next seven possessions. Jason Morris hit a driving jumper for his only points to tie the game at 36, and Kammeon Holsey followed a Brian Oliver miss with a short baseline jumper to give the Jackets a 38-36 lead. They would never trail again, and they went 14-for-18 from the foul line to salt away the game.
Hewitt’s team also did a solid defensive job on the Spiders’ Anderson, the 2010 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, who went 5-for-12 from the floor and scored 12 points, five under his team-leading average. Justin Harper led Richmond with 15 points, and Darien Brothers also reached double digits with 10.
The game was played in the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort before an announced crowd of 3,480 spectators. Virginia Tech and Mississippi State played in the second game of the doubleheader, the inaugural event of what the Atlantis Resort hopes to transform into an eight-team tournament next year.
Tech returns to action Wednesday night with a 7 p.m. game at Siena.