Nov 20, 2003
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA – Marvin Lewis scored 23 points and Georgia Tech cruised to its second straight victory in the Preseason NIT, beating Hofstra 75-56 Thursday night.
The Yellow Jackets (2-0) advanced to face No. 1 Connecticut in the semifinals next Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Lewis came out firing, hitting two straight 3-pointers to set the tone before a sparse crowd at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Hofstra (1-1) never led, and Georgia Tech pulled away after halftime.
Overall, Lewis connected on 5-of-10 shots from outside the arc, taking full advantage when the Pride tried to sit back in a zone.
Hofstra had trouble just getting off a shot from anywhere. In the first four minutes of the second half, the Pride had more turnovers (five) than shots (three).
Wendell Gibson was the lone bright spot for Hofstra, scoring 19 points against Georgia Tech’s suspect front court. But it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome the Pride’s 24 turnovers and 18-of-50 shooting, which included numerous airballs.
Georgia Tech took nearly half its shots from 3-point range and still shot 48 percent (27-of-56). The Yellow Jackets, who led 36-27 at halftime, pushed the margin as high as 27 points in the second half.
The Yellow Jackets opened the Preseason NIT with a 79-45 rout of Louisiana-Lafayette, and Hofstra – coming off an 8-21 season – wasn’t much of a test, either.
Of course, the level of competition will step up considerably next week when the Yellow Jackets take on UConn and 6-foot-10 Emeka Okafor, who’s on pace to become the best shot blocker in college basketball history.
Before that, Georgia Tech has a regularly scheduled game at Cornell on Sunday night.
Jack also had 11 assists, teaming with Muhammad on the most spectacular play of the night. The point guard stole the ball around midcourt and passed to Muhammad for a flying dunk.
Aurimas Kieza added 10 points for Hofstra.