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Tech Cagers Face Tough Las Vegas Field

Nov. 21, 2001

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech goes on the road for the first time this season with three games in the Las Vegas Invitational. The Yellow Jackets (1-1) began the regular season with a pair of home games, defeating Florida A&M, 97-62, on Nov. 16 and losing Monday night, 79-74, to Penn.

The Jackets, whose tournament record is 0-1 following the loss to Penn, meet Eastern Illinois at 3 p.m. Eastern time Thursday and No. 2-ranked Illinois at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time Friday. Tech will play either Hartford, Iowa State, Saint Louis or Southern Illinois in Saturday’s final round, time to be determined.

All three games will be broadcast on radio only, WQXI-AM (790) in Atlanta. Friday’s game against Illinois can also be heard on WMAX-FM (98.1), WSNY-FM (100.1) and WLKQ-FM (102.3).

Four Tech players are averaging in double figures after two games, led by sophomore guard Marvin Lewis (6-4, Germantown, Md.) at 17.0 points per game. Lewis is shooting just 43.5 percent overall, but is 8-of-11 from three-point range and is averaging 6.5 rebounds.

The rest of Tech’s starting lineup includes senior point guard Tony Akins (5-11, Lilburn, Ga.), averaging 13.0 points and 4.0 assists (6-of-17 on threes), sophomore forward Clarence Moore (6-5, Norco, La.), 14.5 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game, freshman forward Ed Nelson (6-7, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), averaging 8.5 points and 13.5 rebounds, and freshman center Luke Schenscher (7-0, Hope Forest, South Australia), 5.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.

Tech, which averaged 101 points in its two exhibition games and scored 97 in the season opener against Florida A&M, was held to just 74 points and 39.7-percent shooting by Penn. The Jackets are shooting 42.7 percent from the floor and 39.3 percent from three-point range.

Tech has quality depth on the bench in sophomores Halston Lane (6-5, Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and Robert Brooks (6-8, Saginaw, Mich.). Along with Schenscher and Nelson, three other freshmen will play significant minutes – sharpshooting 6-3 guard B.J. Elder (Madison, Ga.), 6-5 forward Isma’il Muhammad (Atlanta, Ga.) and 6-6 point guard Anthony McHenry (Birmingham, Ala.).

Elder is Tech’s fourth-leading scorer at 12.0 points per game (5-12 on threes), with Lane averaging 9.5.

Las Vegas Invitational Update

Georgia Tech is 0-1 in the pool portion of the Las Vegas Invitational with Monday’s loss to Penn at Alexander Memorial Coliseum at McDonald’s Center. Eastern Illinois, Thursday’s opponent at 3 p.m. Eastern time, and Illinois, Friday’s foe at 10:30 p.m., are in Tech’s half of the bracket.

The field is divided into two pools, with pool play standings determining the final-round matchups Saturday. In Saturday’s finals, the Jackets will meet either Iowa State, Saint Louis, Hartford or Southern Illinois.

Tech vs. the Field

Georgia Tech is meeting Eastern Illinois for the first time in its history. The Yellow Jackets have also never played Hartford.

Illinois: Tech trails 5-1, the last meeting a 102-92, double-overtime win for Illinois in Champaign on Jan. 22, 1989. Tech’s only win was a 61-53 decision in the NCAA East Regional semifinals on Mar. 21, 1985, in Providence, R.I.

Iowa State: Tech won the only meeting between the schools, 90-78, in the NCAA East Regional first round on Mar. 18, 1988, in Hartford, Conn.

Saint Louis: Tech leads 5-2 and has won the last five meetings, including a 62-55 decision at Saint Louis on Dec. 2, 1985, the last game between the schools.

Southern Illinois: Tied 1-1, the Salukis won the last meeting, 89-69, on Jan. 30, 1971 in Carbondale.

Tech Hits the Boards

Rebounding and size were pre-season concerns for head coach Paul Hewitt, but the Yellow Jackets have gotten off to a good start on the boards.

Tech has outrebounded its two opponents by an average of 54.0 to 31.5, including a 64-33 margin against Florida A&M. The Jackets outrebounded Penn, a bigger and more athletic team than FAMU, 44-30.

Even with 6-11 Alvin Jones leading the ACC in rebounding a year ago, Tech struggled as a team, being outrebounded 40-to-37.5 for the season.

Tech Gets “Mo” Moore

Sophomore forward Clarence Moore, who broke a bone in his left foot in early September of last year and played just five games last season, has returned to health and is in the starting lineup for the Yellow Jackets.

He averaged 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in the Jackets’ first two games, including a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) Monday night in a loss to Penn. Moore has hit 52.2 percent of his field goals (12-of 23), leads the team in steals (5), has four assists and just two turnovers.

The 6-5 Moore sustained the injury in a pickup game on Sept. 3, 2000, and underwent two surgical procedures, one in September and one in February, before being cleared to play in August. His request for a medical hardship was approved by the NCAA, and he has three years of eligibility remaining.

Known as “Mo,” Moore averaged 4.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 30 games as a freshman in 1999-2000, including 10.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in five starts. In Tech’s two exhibition games, Moore averaged 10.5 points and 6.0 rebounds.

Lewis Becomes Leader for Jackets

As a freshman, Marvin Lewis grabbed a starting role and made the most of it, showing poise and maturity to the point where he is now considered one of the team’s leaders as a sophomore.

Lewis is leading the Jackets in scoring as well, 17.0 points per game including 20 points Monday night against Penn. The 6-4 sophomore is 8-for-11 from three-point range and a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line.

As a 6-3 small forward for the Jackets last year, Lewis averaged 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds, ranking third among ACC freshmen in both categories, and made the ACC all-Freshman team and the Academic all-ACC team.

Akins For Three

Tony Akins is making his mark as one of the top three-point shooters in Georgia Tech history. Only Dennis Scott (351-for-831), Travis Best (258-for-656) and Matt Harpring (211-for-585) rank ahead of Akins on Tech’s career lists for three-point field goals made and attempted.

Akins is 209-for-586 in his career (35.7 percent). Scott, who set his records in three seasons, shot 42.2 percent from three-point range. Akins, who has hit a three-pointer in 14 straight games, needs three to move past Harpring for third place on the Tech list.

Focus Shifts to Perimeter

After four years of Alvin Jones drawing the attention of opposing defenses, Georgia Tech has spread its offensive strength to the perimeter. Tech’s top five scorers through two games are all wing players or guards.

Tech’s starting backcourt tandem of Marvin Lewis and Tony Akins rank No. 1 and 3 at 17.0 and 13.0 points a game, with forward Clarence Moore averaging 14.5 points and reserve guard B.J. Elder at 12.0. Reserve swingman Halston Lane is next at 9.5 points per game.

Power forward Ed Nelson is sixth at 8.5 points.

GEORGIA TECH IN THE LAS VEGAS INVITATIONALNovember 22-24, 2001Valley High School o Las Vegas, Nev.TV: noneRadio: WQXI-AM (790), Randy Waters, play-by-play, also on Ramblinwreck.comTech Record: 1-1, 0-0 ACC (H: 1-1, A: 0-0, N: 0-0)Series Records vs. Field:0-0 vs. Eastern Illinois,1-5 vs. Illinois,0-0 vs. Hartford,1-0 vs. Iowa State,5-2 vs. St. Louis,1-1 vs. Southern IllinoisHewitt Record: 84-41 (.672), 5th seasonHewitt at Tech: 18-14 (.563), 2nd seasonLast game: Nov. 19, Penn d. Tech, 79-74Next game: Nov. 28 vs. Wisconson, 7 p.m. ET, Alexander Memorial ColiseumMore info: Ramblinwreck.com

PROBABLE STARTERS F 5 Clarence Moore 6-5 So.-R 14.5 ppg 9.5 rpg F 32 Ed Nelson 6-7 Fr. 8.5 ppg 13.5 rpg C 12 Luke Schenscher 7-0 Fr. 5.0 ppg 5.0 rpg G 3 Tony Akins 5-11 Sr. 13.0 ppg 4.0 apg G 24 Marvin Lewis 6-4 So. 17.0 ppg 6.5 rpg

TOP RESERVES F 33 Halston Lane 6-5 So. 9.5 ppg 5.0 rpg F-C 34 Robert Brooks 6-8 So. 3.0 ppg 3.0 rpg G 1 B.J. Elder 6-3 Fr. 12.0 ppg 2.0 rpg G-F 2 Isma’il Muhammad 6-5 Fr. 2.0 ppg 1.0 ppg G 55 Anthony McHenry 6-6 Fr. 1.5 ppg 1.5 apg

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