AP Sports Writer
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) (Dec. 8) – The officials sided with Georgia this time, counting a basket by Shon Coleman with 1.9 seconds left to give the Bulldogs a thrilling 70-68 victory over Georgia Tech on Wednesday night.
Eleven days after a blown call helped the Yellow Jackets beat Georgia in football, the men in stripes decided another game between the state rivals.
Georgia Tech (3-3) trailed throughout the game until Jason Collier finished off a barrage of 3-pointers, hitting from outside the arc with 37.7 seconds remaining to even the score at 68.
Georgia (4-3) set up for a final shot, working the ball inside to Anthony Evans, whose first attempt was blocked by Jon Babul. Evans got his own rebound and put up another shot that missed. Coleman quickly grabbed the loose ball and flipped it through the hoop.
But the officials waived off the basket, apparently thinking the 35-second shot clock had run out before the shot left Coleman’s hands. Since the controversy involved a timing play, the officials were able to look at a replay of the sequence.
For more than six minutes, the officials asked the television crew to rewind the play over and over. Finally, when convinced that 2.9 seconds were left when the Coleman got the ball away, the officials made their decision.
“The official ruling: count the basket by Shon Coleman,” the public address announcer said, sending the crowd of 10,313 into delirium while Georgia Tech Bobby Cremins argued in vain.
According to the replay, Coleman got the shot away 0.2 seconds before the shot clock ran out.
Tech had one last chance, throwing a length-of-the-court pass to Shaun Fein, whose desperation 3-pointer failed to hit iron.
Collier scored 26 points for the Yellow Jackets, who shot only 38 percent (27-of-71) and trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half. Tech got back in the game by hitting four straight 3-pointers but still trailed 66-58 when D.A. Layne hit a couple of free throws for the Bulldogs.
But T.J. Vines hit a trey with 1:21 left and Collier’s final 3 evened the score for the first time since it was 0-0. Overall, Tech hit 10-of-34 outside the arc.
Layne scored 19 points to lead Georgia. Evans added 16, while Coleman and Adrian Jones had 13 apiece.
Georgia Tech failed to duplicate its stirring comeback a year earlier, when the Yellow Jackets rallied from 15 points down with 10 minutes remaining to beat Georgia 84-79 in overtime.
Tech has not won in Athens since 1976.