Nov. 24, 2008
Georgia Tech returns home to begin a six-game homestand Tuesday night with a 7:30 p.m. tilt against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Yellow Jackets, 2-0 following an 82-76 overtime victory at Mercer Saturday, also host Jacksonville Friday night. Tech does not leave campus again until a Dec. 20-22 trip to California.
Tickets for Tuesday night’s game are $20 and can be purchased at the gate beginning at 6 p.m. The game can be heard on the radio in the Atlanta area on WQXI-AM (790), WREK-FM (91.1) and WTSH-FM (107.1) as well as XM Channel 192.
> A Tech win Tuesday night would produce the Jackets’ first 3-0 start since the 2006-07 season (5-0 start).
> Tech head coach Paul Hewitt is beginning his ninth season with the Yellow Jackets (144-112) and his 12th season as a head coach (210-139). Hewitt ranks 19th all-time in victories among ACC coaches.
> Arkansas-Pine Bluff, in its first year under head coach George Ivory, has lost four straight games to begin the season, including a 67-53 loss at Nebraska Saturday. The Golden Lions do not play at home until opening Southwest Athletic Conference play on Jan. 3. UAPB has already visited Colorado, Texas A&M, Creighton and Nebraska, and has trips scheduled to Missouri, Purdue, SMU, Nevada, Cincinnati and San Diego State before hosting Mississippi Valley State for the SWAC opener.
> Georgia Tech was picked to finish eighth in the ACC by the media at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Operation Basketball media gathering. The Yellow Jackets are coming off a 15-17 season (7-9, tie for seventh in the ACC) from which only six players with starting experience return, two of whom are not available to play due to injury or academics.
Series With Arkansas-Pine Bluff
> Tuesday night’s game is just the second meeting between Georgia Tech and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The teams opened the 2002-03 season at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and the Yellow Jackets took a 113-75 win. It remains Tech’s highest-scoring game under head coach Paul Hewitt.
> Arkansas-Pine Bluff is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Georgia Tech is 9-1 all-time against current members of the league, the lone loss coming to Southern University in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament.
Quick Look at Tech
Head coach Paul Hewitt will start the same five players against Arkansas-Pine Bluff that took the court in Georgia Tech’s first two games – sophomore Moe Miller and freshman Iman Shumpert at guard, with junior Zachery Peacock, senior Alade Aminu and sophomore Gani Lawal along the front line.
With senior D’Andre Bell (spinal stenosis) out for the season and senior Lewis Clinch (academically ineligible) out for the semester, Peacock is being asked to utilize his outside shooting and defensive abilities at the small forward spot.
Tech still has some depth in the backcourt with sophomore Lance Storrs and walk-on freshman Nick Foreman coming off the bench. Storrs showed some of his shooting ability against WSSU, hitting 3-of-4 from the three-point area while scoring 14 points. Foreman scored eight points and hit a pair of threes in Tech’s exhibition win over LeMoyne.
In the frontcourt, Tech has good numbers with red-shirt sophomore Brad Sheehan and senior Bassirou Dieng, a transfer from St. Francis, Pa., who is enrolled in graduate school. Sheehan has added weight and strength, while Dieng can rebound, block shots and shoot from the perimeter.
Jackets Hand Mercer First Loss
Georgia Tech came up victorious in its first road game of the season Saturday, handing previously undefeated Mercer its first loss in an 82-76 overtime game in Macon. The Bears (3-1) had won road games at Alabama and Auburn before hosting the Yellow Jackets.
> Tech fell behind by 18 points in the second half – 58-40 at the 12:01 mark – and never led until overtime. Zachery Peacock’s two free throws with 33 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 69-69. The Jackets then scored the first six points of overtime.
> The 18-point deficit was the largest Tech has rallied from to win in a road game under head coach Paul Hewitt. Tech overcame a 20-point deficit at home against Wisconsin in the 2002-03 season.
> Gani Lawal scored a career-high 27 points, hit 10-of-17 shots from the floor, grabbed nine rebounds, blocked three shots and took three steals. After hitting only four of his first 13 free throws, he made three of four in the final half-minute of overtime to seal the win.
> Senior Alade Aminu posted his first career double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds).
> Freshman Iman Shumpert played a team-high 43 minutes, and scored 11 of his 13 points after halftime.
> Zachery Peacock scored 12 of his 19 points after halftime and notched his seventh straight double-figure scoring game dating back to last season.