Nov. 19, 2004
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA – Jarrett Jack scored 20 points and No. 3 Georgia Tech held Alabama State scoreless for more than nine minutes at the start in a 74-37 rout on Friday.
The Yellow Jackets are trying to follow up the best season in school history. They reached the NCAA championship game in April, losing to Connecticut.
With most everyone back from that team, Georgia Tech is expected to again be one of the top teams in the country. They certainly didn’t get a challenge from Alabama State, which made the NCAA tournament last season by winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.
The 37 points allowed by Tech is the fewest by a Yellow Jacket opponent since Wofford managed 37 on Jan. 31, 1977. The last time a Tech opponent scored fewer points was Alabama with 34 on Mar. 4, 1948.
The Hornets, also playing their season opener, were trailing 2-0 before the tipoff. Tyrece Legette was given a technical for dunking during the pregame warmups, and Jack hit two free throws before the game began.
Georgia Tech pushed its lead to 13-0 before the Hornets finally scored with 10:43 remaining on Dustin Richmond’s fallaway jumper just as the shot clock expired.
Alabama State trailed 31-16 at halftime, and the Yellow Jackets turned the second half into a highlight reel.
Isma’il Muhammad, who became a regular on television early last season with his spectacular dunks, got things rolling by flying through the air to slam a lob pass from Jack.
B.J. Elder grabbed a pass off his hip and managed to throw down a dunk that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Finally, Will Bynum sliced through the lane and managed to bank in a shot despite getting fouled hard by Miguel Morton, winding up sprawled on the court as the ball dropped through.
Even one of the newcomers got in on the act. Freshman Zam Fredrick flipped in a shot after soaring under the hoop with just over a minute remaining – the final basket of the game.
Jack was one of the few Georgia Tech players who shot well, hitting 5 of 8 from the field and 7 of 8 free throws. The Yellow Jackets shot just under 41 percent (26-of-64) but never let up at the defensive end.
Alabama State made only 13-of-51 from the field, just under 26 percent, and was outrebounded 51-33 by the bigger, quicker Yellow Jackets.
Elder, who made only 1 of 9 in the first half, bounced back to score 15 points. Muhammad scored nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Alexander Oliver, with 11 points, was the only player in double figures for the Hornets.