Dec 4, 2002
By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota got by Georgia Tech with good defense.
Rick Rickert scored 17 points, including the go-ahead turnaround jumper with 9 seconds left, and the 20th-ranked Golden Gophers beat the Yellow Jackets 64-63 Wednesday night in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
“We still have a lot to work on,” said Minnesota coach Dan Monson, whose team made 20 turnovers. “We’re not fooled that we’re ready for Big Ten play.”
Jerry Holman had 21 points for Minnesota (3-0), which beat Georgia on Saturday on Michael Bauer’s 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Ed Nelson had 17 points and Chris Bosh added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets (3-1), whose youth showed with 21 turnovers. Georgia Tech has the reputation as a full-court pressing team, but Minnesota used intense defense to carry it through some dry stretches of offense.
“When you’ve squeaked out two wins like we have,” Rickert said, “that builds confidence.”
The Yellow Jackets, 15-16 last season and playing their road game, have six freshmen and sophomores among their top seven players.
“This is a new experience for me,” Bosh said. “We’re used to having our crowd.”
Georgia Tech trailed by six points but cut the lead to 62-61 on a three-point play by Bosh and then a steal and dunk by B.J. Elder with 1:21 left.
After a turnover by each team, Holman’s pass was tipped, and Bosh got a long pass for an easy dunk to put the Yellow Jackets up by a point with 25 seconds left.
Jarrett Jack, right, shots against Minnesota center Jerry Holman.
Rickert, Minnesota’s leading scorer, then made his shot at the other end to give the Gophers the lead.
“We got the ball where we wanted it,” Monson said.
The Yellow Jackets had a chance to win, but freshman point guard Jarrett Jack lost the ball at the top of the key under heavy pressure and a desperation fling by Marvin Lewis at the buzzer hit the rim and fell out.
“It was an exciting basketball game,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said, “just not a real efficient one.
“We just got beat by better defense.”
Switching baskets seemed to ignite both teams after an ugly first half.
The crowd got into it, too, when the Gophers grabbed a 53-49 lead with under 7 minutes to go after an 11-0 run sparked by a 3-pointer by Rickert and a dunk by Holman.
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Though the 6-foot-10 Bosh and 7-1 sophomore Luke Schenscher gave Georgia Tech a height advantage inside, the Gophers pounded the ball early underneath to Holman for 12 first-half points.
“Their bigs didn’t have the greatest defense,” Holman said. “I just had to keep on taking it at them.”
The Yellow Jackets trailed 10-2 until Nelson made an off-balance shot just outside the lane with 13:46 left in the half. They led 29-27 at halftime after committing 14 turnovers, missing seven of 10 free throws and shooting just 39 percent (12-for-31) from the field.
The Gophers and Yellow Jackets both beat Georgia last week, knocking the Bulldogs from the Top 25.