Nov 16, 2001
By KEITH PARSONS
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA – B.J. Elder and Clarence Moore scored 16 points apiece to lead Georgia Tech to a 97-62 victory over Florida A&M in the season opener for both teams Friday night.
The Yellow Jackets overcame an early 10-point deficit to win going away, despite making just 11 of 20 free throws. Tony Akins, Marvin Lewis and Halston Lane all scored 14 points. Elder, Akins and Lewis each made four 3-pointers.
Demarcus Wilkins, a Newnan, Ga., native, led the Rattlers with 23 points.
This didn’t figure to be a tight game, since Florida A&M lost an exhibition to NCAA Division II Valdosta State 80-75. But the Rattlers jumped to a 17-7 lead in the first five minutes, making its first three shots from behind the 3-point line. Wilkins had 10 points in that span.
Georgia Tech roared back with a 13-0 run, taking its first lead at 20-17 on Moore’s three-point play. A layup from Jermaine Hill briefly pulled the Rattlers within one, but the Yellow Jackets pulled away with a 21-5 spurt, highlighted by three of Akins’ 3-pointers.
The Rattlers were 6-22 a year ago and open this season with an 11-game road trip. New coach Mike Gillespie, making his Division I debut, stayed upbeat throughout, prowling the sidelines and shouting encouragement to his players.
He also got his first technical with 45 seconds left in the game.
Moore, who missed nearly all of last season with a foot injury, added nine rebounds. Georgia Tech made 14-of-32 3-pointers.
Florida A&M guard John Cuyler left the game in the first half with what appeared to be a dislocated finger. He fell hard after being fouled by Lane near midcourt.
Michael Griffith scored 15 points for the Rattlers, who made just 3-of-25 3-pointers after their early run.
Florida A&M didn’t fare as well Friday night as Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rival Hampton, which upset No. 19 North Carolina 77-69.