LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 5, AP) – Tayshaun Prince had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 25 Kentucky to an 80-71 victory over Georgia Tech on Wednesday night.
Kentucky (9-4) led most of the way in a home-away-from-home game at Louisville’s Freedom Hall, but never quite shook Georgia Tech (7-5).
Tech rallied from nine points down in the first half to take a 40-36 lead early in the second half. The Yellow Jackets lost that lead, but refused to let Kentucky string together a game-ending run until the final seconds.
With Kentucky leading 74-68, Georgia Tech point guard Tony Akins hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 1:24 left to cut the lead to three. That was the closest Georgia Tech would get.
At the other end, Tech center Alvin Jones fouled out defending a dunk attempt by Prince, who made one of two free throws for a 75-71 lead.
On Georgia Tech’s next possession, Akins missed a drive in the lane and Keith Bogans got the rebound to Prince, who again made one of two free throws.
Desmond Allison later added two more free throws and Prince had a final dunk on an alley-oop from Bogans with four seconds left.
Jason Collier led Georgia Tech with 21 points and added eight rebounds. Jones, who spent much of the game in fierce elbow-to-elbow combat with Kentucky center Jamaal Magloire, had nine rebounds.
Jules Camara scored 15 points for Kentucky, while Bogans had 14 and Magloire 12.
On a night when they once again struggled with their shooting, the Wildcats overcame a lack of quality with quantity, making 30 of a season-high 73 shots (41.1 percent).
Against Georgia Tech’s free-wheeling style, the Wildcats abandoned their normally patient half-court offense, shooting their way out of an 0-for-16 slump that bridged the end of the first half and the start of the second.
Tech, meanwhile, was shooting 28-of-66 from the field (42.4 percent), a figure that included 12-of-34 from 3-point range. In addition to Akins’ four 3s, Collier had three.
Though the Georgia Tech tandem of the 7-foot Collier and the 6-11 Jones was the tallest Kentucky had faced this season, the Wildcats finished with a 49-34 rebounding edge, including a 20-9 advantage on the offensive boards.