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Second Half Surge Gives Georgia Tech 82-72 Win Over Tennessee State

Dec. 10, 2005

Box Score |  Quotes

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech broke open a close game with a 16-1 second-half run and the Yellow Jackets held off a late comeback to beat Tennessee State 82-72 Saturday.

Tech led by only four points at 39-35 when Mario West hit a 3-pointer, followed by back-to-back 3-pointers from Anthony Morrow, to spark the decisive run.

The outside shooting helped open inside scoring chances for Jeremis Smith, who survived two injury scares to score 22 points, setting a career high for the fourth straight game.

Anthony Morrow had 17 points and Mario West had 16 for Tech (4-3).

Tech played even with Tennessee State (1-2) until the big run, when it pushed its lead to double figures for the first time.

The Yellow Jackets held a big lead of 24 points at 66-42 before the Tigers fought back to pull to within 12 points at 72-60 with 4:32 left to play. Two free throws by Matthews with one minute left cut the lead to 10 points, but the comeback hopes ended there.

Clarence Matthews scored the Tigers’ first eight points and had 22 for the game. Bruce Price had 18, all in the second half, and Wayne Arnold added 17.

Paul Hewitt earned his 100th win at Tech. He is 100-69 in his sixth season at Tech.

Hewitt made his first lineup change of the season, starting forward Theodis Tarver ahead of Ra’Sean Dickey, who had only five points and one rebound in Wednesday night’s loss to Georgia.

Tech had a major first-half scare when Smith crashed to the floor and stayed down after trying to stop a dunk by Matthews. Smith wears a sleeve on his right knee following an injury he suffered on a similar play last season, but he returned to action minutes after limping to the Tech bench Saturday.

Smith had another hard fall under the same basket with 9:27 left to play. Tennessee State’s Courtney Bohannon was called for an intentional foul and ejected. Smith stayed in the game.

A 3-pointer by Arnold, a former University of Georgia player, tied the game at 18-all, but Dickey scored two baskets in the final three minutes as Tech pulled away to lead 30-23 at halftime.

Arnold led Berkmar High to two state championships before he spent his freshman season at Georgia. He transferred to Tennessee State from Los Angeles City College.

Notes: Tech freshman Lewis Clinch was held out with a lower left leg injury. … There were a substantial number of no-shows, but Tech reported its 32nd consecutive sellout at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The streak began on Dec. 6, 2003 — also against Tennessee State.

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