ATLANTA (AP) – In basketball, at least, the Georgia Bulldogs will have the bragging rights for the second consecutive year.
D.A. Layne scored a season-high 28 points, including 10 straight in the closing minutes to keep Georgia Tech at bay and the Georgia Bulldogs beat the state-rival Yellow Jackets 75-70 Wednesday night.
Anthony Evans added 15 points and Shon Coleman had 14 points for Georgia (5-3).
Alvin Jones led Georgia Tech (4-2) with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Shaun Fein added 22 points, 19 in the second half. Tech’s leading scorer, Tony Akins, averaging 17 points, was 1-for-12 and managed only 2 points, matching his previous low that he had as a freshman in 1998.
“It was a great night, a great shooting night and a great team night,” said Layne, who connected on 9-of-17 shots from the field, including 3-of-7 3’s.
“This is a big game, big time,” said Layne. “This is the big rivalry. Everybody knows one another. This is for bragging rights.”
Georgia, which never trailed in the game, led 52-51 with 9:44 left after a basket by T.J. Vines when Layne went to work.
“D.A. Layne had a lot of big-game shots for us,” said Georgia coach Jim Harrick. “He is doing everything we ask of him.”
The 6-foot junior guard also chipped in with four assists and five rebounds in 34 minutes.
Layne hit on a jumper, a 3-point basket and two free throws before another 3-pointer with 5:05 left for a 62-54 Bulldogs’ lead in a 10-3 run broken only by a 3-pointer by Fein.
“It basically came down to us not paying attention to a very good shooter in D.A. Layne,” said Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt.
“We talked about guarding him much like we’ve guarded other shooters this year and try to force him to put the ball on the floor,” he said.
“Every time we got to the edge, he (Layne) seemed to be the guy that cmae back and hit a big 3 and give them a lift,” said Hewitt.
Georgia Tech never got any closer than five points after Layne’s run.
The Yellow Jackets came out ice cold, fell behind 7-0 and made only 3 of their first 15 shots to fall behind by 11 points at 17-6 with only 9:13 gone.
Tech, however, made a late first half run and outscored Georgia 13-3 to gain a tie on a 3-point basket by Halston Lane 2:51 before the half. The Bulldogs, however, gained a 35-31 lead at intermission on a 3-point basket by Rashad Wright.
Layne, averaging 15.7 points coming in, had 13 first-half points and Jones had 11 for Tech. Akins went 0-for-5 in the first half and was scoreless. His only basket came with 4:45 left in the game.
Georgia Tech was coming off a 72-67 upset victory over UCLA in Anaheim over the weekend in coach Paul Hewitt’s first season.
Georgia, which lost its first two games of the season, has regrouped of late to win five of six, including wins over Utah and upending Pepperdine 72-61 on Sunday.
The annual game returned to campus sites in the 1995-96 season after 14 years at the since-demolished Omni coliseum in Atlanta. The home team had won each of the previous five games since.
In the last meeting in Athens last Dec. 8, Georgia edged Tech 70-68. In the 1998 game at Tech’s campus, the Yellow Jackets won 84-79 in overtime.