AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) (Dec. 1) – Freshman Gavin Groninger scored all 18 of his points on 3-pointers — including a key basket with 1:20 remaining — and Michigan held off Georgia Tech 80-77 Tuesday night.
|Georgia Tech center Jason Collier (52) battles Michigan’s Kevin Gaines (2) for a rebound during the first half in Atlanta, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 1999. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)|
The Yellow Jackets (3-2), who trailed by 16 midway through the second half, had a couple of chances to tie in the final six seconds. But Alvin Jones was called for a foul while trying to set a pick and Tony Akins slipped down while scrambling for a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The youthful Wolverines (4-0) remained unbeaten with a lineup that includes three freshmen and a sophomore.
Michigan took control late in the first half, building a 48-38 lead at the break, and pushed the margin to 70-54 on Chris Young’s follow with 10:22 remaining.
Georgia Tech began pressing, taking advantage of Michigan’s inexperience and foul trouble. Leon Jones and Young both fouled out with over eight minutes remaining, but the Yellow Jackets were doomed by three straight turnovers.
They finally got within a basket when Jon Babul hit a 3-pointer with 1:35 left to cut the deficit to 76-73. But Groninger worked behind a double screen to hit sixth trey of the night, pushing the margin back to 79-73.
Michigan missed its last three free throws to give the Yellow Jackets a chance at the end. They couldn’t take advantage, failing to get off a shot on their last two possessions.
Georgia Tech had a miserable night shooting — hitting only 23-of-60 (38.3 percent) from the field and 25-of-41 (61 percent) at the foul line, prompting coach Bobby Cremins to collapse on the bench in disgust.
Another freshman, LaVell Edwards, had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Wolverines. Tech was led by Akins, who had 19 points, and Jones, who added 17 points and 16 rebounds before fouling out.
The first college game at Philips Arena, which is about a mile from the Georgia Tech campus, was part of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge.