Dec 17, 2003
By TOM SALADINO
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA – Will Bynum gave No. 5 Georgia Tech what it needed early and then the defense took over.
Bynum, a reserve guard, hit consecutive 3-pointers in an early 24-2 run and the Yellow Jackets went on to a 74-41 victory over Alabama A&M on Wednesday night.
Georgia Tech (9-0) continued the third-best start in school history with a suffocating defense that forced 18 first-half turnovers by the Bulldogs (2-4) and 28 in the game.
“I was trying to give us some energy,” said Bynum, a junior transfer from Arizona, who was playing in his second game since becoming eligible.
“I think people are starting to see why our players and our coaching staff have been so excited about him becoming eligible,” Hewitt said. “He’s still a little rusty, but he’s an explosive player. He can create things defensively and offensively.”
Bynum played 18 minutes.
“It brings more to the guards,” he said. “Before, starting point guard Jarrett Jack) had some heavy minutes.”
Alabama A&M shot 25.5 percent (13-for-51) for the game, only 20 percent in the first half (4-of-20), but outscored Tech 26-25 in the second half.
“We knew they were going to be an aggressive team and our kids got intimidated in the first half because of their pressure,” Alabama A&M coach L. Vann Pettaway said. “In the second half we had some step up and play.”
Hewitt, however, wasn’t pleased with Tech’s play in the second half.
“We turned the ball over 12 times in the second half, we missed a ton of free throws, and we missed a ton of wide-open 3s,” he said.
The Jackets opened 11-0 in 1962-63 and won their first 10 games in 1989-90, when they reached their lone Final Four.
Andre Matthews then made a basket for A&M before Tech went on another 11-0 spurt for a 30-8 lead. Obie Trotter then got the Bulldogs’ next basket, ending a stretch of only one field goal in 8:42.
Trotter led the Bulldogs with 16 points.
Luke Schenscher had a career-high 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting for the Yellow Jackets, who led 49-15 at halftime. He scored 12 of Tech’s first 14 points in the second half.
Lewis and Jim Nystrom each had eight points for Tech and Bynum had seven.
Georgia Tech, which wasn’t even ranked until the Dec. 1 poll, has not been this high in the AP Top 25 since it was No. 4 on Feb. 24, 1986.