ATLANTA (Nov. 24) – Jason Collier poured in 27 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds to lead Georgia Tech (2-0) to a 100-88 victory over Grambling State in the first round of the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska.
Tech advances to face Washington (2-0), a winner over Alaska Anchorage, in Friday’s second round in a 9:30 p.m. (EST) game at Sullivan Arena.
Collier, who also had four assists, connected on eight of nine shots from the field and 11 of 12 from the free throw line. All five Tech starters scored in double figures as Shaun Fein tallied 19 points, Alvin Jones contributed 14, Jason Floyd had 13 and Tony Akins had 10 points and seven assists, while T.J. Vines added nine points off the bench.
Tech scored the game’s first 14 points on the way to a 44-30 halftime lead. The Jackets maintained a double digit lead throughout the second half, building an 85-57 lead with 5:34 to play. That sent Tech’s starters to the bench, and Grambling suddenly caught fire, aided by a flurry of Tech turnovers, and managed to pull within 89-81 with a minute left. The Jackets sealed the win by hitting nine of 10 free throws in the final 31 seconds.
The Yellow Jackets hit 10 three pointers in the game, including four by Fein and three by Jason Floyd, and Tech outrebounded the Tigers, 46-29, but committed 20 turnovers.
“I thought we had things under control, but give Grambling State a lot of credit,” said Tech head coach Bobby Cremins. “We had a big lead and we tried to play a lot of players, but we weren’t able to put them away like we should have at the end.
“Grambling State had a good strategy. They slowed it down on offense, and on defense, they packed it in on our big guys and forced us to make the outside shot. We’re very capable of making those threes. Shaun Fein hit some big shots, and so did Jason Floyd and T.J. Vines. We just made too many mistakes late in the game when we should have had the killer instinct to put them away.”
“We’ve got to play much better against Washington.”
Chris Thomas led Grambling State (0-3) with 21 points, while point guard Alfred Parker had 14 points and 12 assists.