Dec 6, 2003
By TOM SALADINO
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Tech made up for its slow start with a nearly perfect second half.
B.J. Elder scored eight points to key a 15-0 run midway in the opening half and No. 13 Georgia Tech rebounded from a sluggish opening 10 minutes to rout Tennessee State 94-43 Saturday night.
It was Tech’s largest margin of victory since it beat Florida A&M 112-56 on Nov. 26, 1994.
“I felt we were struggling offensively, so I just tried to get something started,” Elder said. “I think it really started on the defensive end. They took some bad shots and we took advantage.”
Tech (7-0), off to its best start since the 1989-90 team won its first 10 games, came out sloppy and were tied at 8-all on a basket by Tennessee State’s Bruce Price after 6:25.
Clarence Moore put Tech ahead 10-8 at the 8-minute mark. Elder, one of six Yellow Jackets in double figures with 11 points, then scored eight consecutive points beginning with 9:45 left before the half and Luke Schenscher added five more as the Yellow Jackets ran off 15 straight for a 23-8 lead.
First, Elder hit a 3-point basket, then a dunk and followed with another 3-pointer.
“That helps, obviously, when he gets it going like that,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. “But the biggest thing is, we just took better care of the basketball.”
During that period Tennessee State (1-4) went scoreless for 8:09 before Garrett Richardson made a layup 5:27 before halftime to get the Tigers within 23-10.
The Yellow Jackets shot 76 percent in the second half (22-for-29) and finished the game at 60 percent (35-for-58).
“We only had six turnovers in the second half (after 15 in the first half),” Hewitt said. “Consequently, we got more attempts and were able to put some points on the board.”
Tech led 32-15 at halftime, then broke it open early in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 17-4 for a 49-19 lead after the first five minutes.
“We’ve got to be the worst defensive team in the second half in the county,” said Tennessee State coach Cy Alexander. “We put in a new zone this week and it worked fairly well in the first half. Other than to keep practicing and keep addressing it, I’m not sure what else to do.”
Hewitt played all 11 players. Ten played at least 12 minutes and David Nelson played the final five minutes and scored three points.
Tennessee State shot only 27 percent (17-of-63) and were outrebounded 52-23.
Garrett Richardson led the Tigers with 11 points. Leading scorer Roshaun Bowens, hampered by early foul trouble, had only six.