Nov. 7, 2008
ATLANTA – Gani Lawal scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Alade Aminu also posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 boards as Georgia Tech ran away with the second half and defeated Le Moyne, 85-54, in a basketball exhibition game Friday night at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Head coach Paul Hewitt watched as the Yellow Jackets, playing without three members of the team due to injuries and academic issues, struggled to a 34-22 lead at the half. But Tech started fast after intermission, opening a 33-point margin by the 11-minute mark and coasted after that.
“We can play better,” said Hewitt. “We had a good 8-to-10-minute stretch in the second half where we played very well collectively, and then we let off the gas. I would have liked to have seen us stretch out the lead.”
The Yellow Jackets continually found Lawal open under the basket for a variety of dunks and layups. The sophomore from Norcross, Ga., made 13 of 16 shots from the floor, had four assists, and took six of his 10 rebounds on the offensive glass.
Aminu, a senior from Stone Mountain, Ga., was 8-of-14 from the floor and had two assists. Zachery Peacock, a junior from Miami, Fla., came within a point of posting Tech’s third double-double of the night, scoring nine points with 13 rebounds. Brad Sheehan, a fourth post player for Tech, had nine points and three rebounds.
Collectively, Tech’s four big men combined for 65 of its 85 points and 38 rebounds.
“That’s got to keep up,” said Hewitt. “One of the things we talked about a lot in the preseason was our rebounding numbers. Alade, Gani, Zack, Brad and Iman (Shumpert), with his size, have to get rebounds. Moe Miller needs to go down below the foul line and get some. We can do it.”
Shumpert, a freshman from Oak Park, Ill., had four points and eight assists, while Miller, a sophomore point guard, had six points and four assists. Freshman walk-on Nick Foreman, playing 19 minutes because of absences among Tech’s perimeter players, scored eight points and knocked down a pair of three-point field goals.
Tech played without senior Lewis Clinch, who is academically ineligible for the remainder of the fall semester, freshman walk-on Derek Craig, who was held out due to a concussion, and senior post-player Bassirou Dieng, who has an elbow injury.
“There’s a chance (he can play) with our numbers the way they are,” Hewitt said of Foreman. “We’re looking for a guy who can step up and make shots and make some plays. Derek Craig was out with a concussion tonight, and he could be another guy who can help us.
“We’ve got to make adjustments, that’s all. We feel like we’ve got a talented basketball team. Other guys just have to step up. We put Zack Peacock in at the three position as well as the four. We just have to do it, that’s all there is to it.”
Tech opens its regular season next Friday, Nov. 14, at 8:30 p.m. at home against Winston-Salem State.