Feb. 1, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Playing without leading scorer and rebounder Glen Rice, Georgia Tech started four sophomores and played well for a half against No. 21 Florida State on Wednesday night.
But the Yellow Jackets committed 14 turnovers in the second half and went on to their sixth straight loss, 68-54.
Brandon Reed scored 18 points and Daniel Miller added 10 points and nine rebounds for Georgia Tech (8-14, 1-7 Atlantic Coast Conference). Reed made 4 of 8 3-point attempts and the Yellow Jackets shot 8 of 18 from beyond the arc.
“I thought our guys competed pretty well and did some good things,” first-year Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said. “Unfortunately we’re not at a point to sustain that type of concentration and effort that you need to be successful on the road in this league, especially on the road against a team that keeps coming at you.”
Georgia Tech led 25-24 at halftime but Florida State used a 10-0 run to pull away and took a 43-32 lead with 13:07 left in the game on a thunderous dunk by Okaro White.
Michael Snaer had 16 of his 21 points in the second half for the Seminoles (15-6, 6-1), who handed the Yellow Jackets their 10th loss in the last 11 games.
The Yellow Jackets shot 11 of 22 from the field in the second half but fell behind because of their 14 turnovers in the final 20 minutes.
“That’s the difference in the game right there,” Gregory said.
Georgia Tech played without Rice, who leads the Yellow Jackets in points (13.1) and rebounds (6.5). Rice has a toe injury, and Gregory said he is hopeful that he will be able to play against Boston College on Saturday.
Florida State hadn’t played in a week and looked rusty, scoring only 10 points over the final 12:45 of the first half and committing 11 turnovers.
Senior center Bernard James had 13 points and eight rebound for Florida State, which shot 61.5 percent and had just four turnovers in the second half on the way to their sixth straight win.
Pierre Jordan, who graduated from Florida State before transferring to Georgia Tech to work on his master’s degree, had three rebounds in 11 minutes.
The victory gives Florida State its best start in league play since joining the ACC for the 1991-92 season and it keeps the Seminoles tied with North Carolina for first place. Duke is right behind at 5-1.
Snaer’s big second half helped awaken a slumbering offense that managed to shoot just 34.8 percent in the first half. The 6-foot-4 junior made 5 of 7 from 3-point distance and has made 11 of his last 13 tries from beyond the arc, including a buzzer-beating game-winner at Duke on Jan. 21.
Two free throws by Reed capped an 18-8 run that gave Georgia Tech its first lead, 23-22 with 3:09 left in the half.
“Our guys competed pretty well and did some good things,” Gregory said. “Unfortunately we’re not at a point to sustain that type of concentration and effort that you need to be successful on the road in this league, especially on the road against a team that keeps coming at you.”
Georgia Tech climbed within 49-42 with 7:51 left before an 11-3 run by the Seminoles that was capped by James’ slam put the game out of reach.
White’s thundering dunk capped a 10-0 spurt early in the second half that gave Florida State a 43-32 lead. The Seminoles had their largest lead at 68-51 on Snaer’s fifth 3-pointer in the final seconds. White finished with 11 points and senior guard Luke Loucks added nine points and seven assists.