PALO ALTO, CALIF. – Georgia Tech got 13 points from Shaun Fein and Darryl LaBarrie, and held Idaho State to 30.6-percent shooting from the floor Monday night, surviving a physical second half to defeat the Bengals, 78-56, in the first round of the Stanford Invitational at Maples Pavilion.
Stanford (7-0) defeated Sacred Heart (0-8), 94-52, in the other first round game, which means the Yellow Jackets (6-2) will meet the No. 3-ranked Cardinal in the championship game of the tournament at 11:30 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday.
“[Mike Montgomery’s] an excellent coach,” said Tech coach Paul Hewitt. “I had the opportunity to scout them when I was working at USC and not much has changed. They’re very sound fundamentally, they do a great job off the screens, and they take great shots. With (Ryan) Mendez and (Casey) Jacobsen, they do a great job of getting those guys open. I think our pressure’s going to bother them a little bit. But a lot of it depends on how the officiating goes in the first half, especially with Alvin (Jones). I’m sure they’re going to go right at him, and he’s going to go right at them.”
Tech blistered the Bengals in the first half by shooting 69.2 percent, hitting 18 of 26 field goal attempts, while Idaho State made just seven of 32 attempts (21.9 percent). LaBarrie, whose 13 points were a career high at Tech, scored 12 of them before intermission as the Yellow Jackets took a 45-21 lead into the locker room.
Tech extended its lead to as many as 33 points in the second half, taking a 59-26 advantage after T.J. Vines’ free throw at the 15:10 mark. Idaho State whittled the lead down to 20 at one points, but never threatened.
LaBarrie made all five of his field goal attempts in the game, as did Fein. Marvin Lewis chipped in with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting, and Alvin Jones scored nine and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Jon Babul scored nine points, going 3-for-3 from the floor, and Tony Akins added seven points with five assists.
“[Tony’s] going right now,” said Tech coach Paul Hewitt. “Before I got here, all I heard was ‘He can do this, and he can do that.’ When I got here and looked at his stats, and he’s a really good player.”
D’Marr Suggs led Idaho State with 17 points, the only Bengal in double figures, while Jordie McTavish and Tim Erickson each scored eight.
Officials whistled 23 fouls in the second half, some of them on hard collisions. Freshman Halston Lane may have fractured his cheekbone after hitting the floor hard on a drive to the basket with 2:02 left. Tech also may have lost Clarence Moore for the Stanford game. He did not play in the second half after complaining of pain in the foot where he suffered a stress fracture in September.
“We got a little bit out of character a little bit [in the second half],” said Tech head coach Paul Hewitt. “I think we got a little bit perturbed when the game got a little more physical and it didn’t seem like we were getting as many calls as I thought we should have gotten. The play escalated and you saw what happened to Halston Lane there in the key. The refs didn’t even see it – he fell flat on his face and may have cracked his cheekbone. I was a little disturbed with how the second half was called.
“Clarence Moore didn’t play in the second half because that fractured foot is aching and we’re going to have that x-rayed tomorrow morning. Right now, we don’t know if he’s going to play.”