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Elder scores 17

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech was worried about getting beat by one player. The Yellow Jackets made sure it didn't happen.

B.J. Elder scored 17 points and Georgia Tech held Brad Boyd to
2-of-12 shooting, cruising to a 79-45 victory over
Louisiana-Lafayette to open the Preseason National Invitation
Tournament on Thursday.

Boyd scored 33 points, making nine 3-pointers, in an upset of
Mississippi State last season. He didn't get a chance to duplicate
that performance.

With four different players guarding the Lafayette star, Boyd
had nearly as many turnovers (five) as points (six). He played only
25 minutes, sent to the bench when he kept misfiring.

"We weren't going to have one guy guard him," Georgia Tech
coach Paul Hewitt said. "We wanted a committee of guys with fresh
legs and long arms. We were determined to make him take tough
shots."

The Yellow Jackets (1-0) will host Hofstra, a 79-74 winner over
Marist, in the second round Thursday.

Georgia Tech had no trouble with the undermanned Ragin' Cajuns
(0-1), who used only eight players and had no one on the bench with
any Division I experience.

Five Lafayette players, including former Georgia Tech signee
Michael Southall, are ineligible for the fall semester. The Yellow
Jackets took full advantage, keeping plenty of fresh players on the
court.

While four Lafayette players went at least 36 minutes, Georgia
Tech had no one who played more than 33 and seven others who worked
between 19 and 26 minutes.

Georgia Tech shot 53 percent from the field and dominated the
boards (45-29). The only major flaw for the Yellow Jackets: 4-of-10
shooting at the foul line.

The Ragin' Cajuns hit only 15-of-55 from the field, a dismal 27
percent.

"I did not see a whole bunch of bright spots," coach Jessie
Evans said. "I thought we got impatient, and we took shots with
hands in our faces."

Georgia Tech felt no immediate impact from the loss of 6-foot-10
forward Chris Bosh, who left school after just one season to enter
the NBA draft. He was picked fourth overall and now plays for the
Toronto Raptors.

"Obviously, we are kind of small this year," Anthony McHenry
said. "Our main goal is to outrun people."

But Hewitt took exception with those who have predicted a
mediocre season with Bosh's defection to the NBA and the loss of
another big man, Ed Nelson, who transferred to Connecticut.

"Sure, we're unproven in the frontcourt, but we've got good
players," Hewitt said. "I get amused when I hear that no one is
left at Georgia Tech."

Elder had 11 points in the first half and the Yellow Jackets
closed with a 26-11 run, going to the locker room with a 38-21
lead. The Cajuns made only 6-of-24 shots before the break.

Georgia Tech pushed the margin as high as 36 points in the
closing minutes.

Yellow Jackets center Luke Schenscher took a nasty lick just
above the right eye while going up for a shot midway through the
second half. No foul was called, but Schenscher left the game with
blood rolling down his cheek.

Antoine Landry led Lafayette with 13 points. Chris Cameron was
the only teammate in double figures with 10.

Isma'il Muhammad, despite being slowed by cramps, scored 13
points and led the Yellow Jackets with seven rebounds. Jarrett Jack
added 12 points and six other Georgia Tech players made the
scoresheet.