Nov. 2, 2007
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech, playing its final exhibition game, scored the first 14 points of the game and never looked back in a 126-86 win over outmanned and undersized Division II Carson-Newman here Friday night.
The Yellow Jackets, 20-12 last season, dominated the interior against the height-challenged Eagles, who have just one player taller than 6-7 on the roster. Tech shot 52.5 percent and scored 50 points in the paint, many of which were dunks.
Junior Lewis Clinch scored 21 points to lead five Yellow Jackets in double figures. Freshman Brad Sheehan and senior Anthony Morrow scored 18 points each, and freshman Gani Lawal and junior Alade Aminu added 12 points each.
Alude, who pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds, recorded a double-double. Senior transfer guard Mat Causey came off the bench for nine assists. Lawal earned four of the Yellow Jackets’ eight blocked shots.
“I thought we made good progress tonight, although we certainly would have liked to have given up less points in the second half,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. “But overall, I thought the performance was good. I thought the energy level was good.”
Darren Williams and Cameron Sharp scored 17 points each to lead Carson-Newman (10-19 last season).
The two teams combined for 212 points, 67 personal fouls, 49 turnovers, 45 assists and 30 steals.
“It’s a deep team,” Hewitt said. “I think we’re pretty athletic. I think we’ll get more disciplined as time goes on.”
Georgia Tech took an insurmountable 74-36 lead into the locker room after an up-and-down, foul-plagued first half. The two teams were whistled for a combined 39 personal fouls in a half that the Yellow Jackets scored 24 field goals on 18 assists, out-rebounded the Eagles 36-18 and held Carson-Newman to 22.2 percent shooting.
The Yellow Jackets removed any doubts about the possibility of a monumental upset early. Clinch’s put-back just 3:46 into the game gave the Yellow Jackets a 14-0 lead.
By the time Carson-Newman’s Sharp scored the Eagles’ first field goal with 12:57 remaining in the first half, making the score 25-4, the rout was well underway.
The only suspense at that point would be Tech’s final margin – and how many personal fouls would be called.
The Yellow Jackets’ 126 points were the most ever scored in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The old record of 124 points also came in an exhibition game, in 1993, against the USA Verich Reps.
Georgia Tech will open the regular season next Friday against UNC-Greensboro at 6 p.m. in Alexander Memorial Colilseum.
Carson-Newman, predicted to finish fourth in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC), play on the road against another ACC opponent Sunday when the Eagles play at Virginia in exhibition play.
All three players missing from last year’s team – underclassmen Javaris Crittenton and Thaddeus Young, and senior Mario West – are currently on NBA rosters. Crittenton and Young were first-round draft picks and West made the Atlanta Hawks opening-day roster.
Georgia Tech started two seniors (Morrow and Smith), two juniors (Aminu and Clinch) and one freshman (Maurice Miller).