By ED SHEARER
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) – Paul Hewitt knew his new team could shoot the ball and outstanding shooting – especially from 3-point range – made the difference in his first game as Georgia Tech’s coach.
|Guard Shaun Fein (11) drives to the basket ahead of Wofford guard Jon Pryor. (AP Photo/Alan Mothner)|
The Yellow Jackets hit 14 of 24 from long range, led by Shaun Fein’s 32 points that included seven 3’s in Tech’s 92-49 rout of Wofford in the season opener for both teams Friday night, November 17.
“Shaun’s a great shooter,” Hewitt said. “I’ve been saying from day one, this team can shoot the ball. You better get out on us, because we’re going to take them, and most of the time, we’re going to make a high percentage of them. Shaun had the hot hand tonight.”
The Yellow Jackets bolted to a 9-0 lead at the start and never were in trouble from the short-handed Terriers.
“Coach Hewitt gives me the green light and that gives me a lot of confidence,” Fein said.
Fein said he loves Hewitt’s wide-open style of offense.
“I think it fits me pretty well,” Fein said. “I get a lot of open looks, even in transition.”
“It’s a nice start, but it’s over, and we need to move on,” Hewitt said. “First games of the season are almost like, let’s just get it over with and see what we’ve got.”
Fein hit 12 of 16 shots, including 7 of 11 from long range, and saw only 22 minutes of action. Alvin Jones added 14 points and nine rebounds and Tony Akins had 10 points for the Jackets.
Lee Nixon and Jon Pryor had nine points each to lead the Terriers, who played without two-time All-Southern Conference guard Ian Chadwick, starting power forward Bishop Ravenel and reserve center Edvin Masic.
All three Wofford players will miss the first three games because they participated in a summer basketball tournament in Greenville, S.C., that wasn’t sanctioned by the NCAA.
“I realize Wofford was a little depleted tonight without Chadwick and Ravenel,” said Hewitt, who took over after last season when Bobby Cremins stepped down as coach after 19 seasons. “The competition is going to get tougher, no slight to Wofford.”
“In the second half, Tech just drained those 3s, especially Fein,” Wofford coach Richard Johnson said. “He played a terrific game. I do not want to use the absence of three players as any excuse. If we had had them, it might have been a closer game, but we still would have lost the way they were draining threes.”
Tech built a 28-12 lead midway through the first half before the Terriers rallied, cutting the lead to 35-26 on Pryor’s 3-pointer with 3:44 left in the half.
Tech led 43-31 after Grant Sterley’s 3-pointer to open the second half, but the Jackets then took control with an 18-0 burst that included two 3-pointers each by Fein and T.J. Vines and another by Akins.