Alabama State 37

(0-1, 0-1 away)

(3) Georgia Tech 74

(1-0, 1-0 home)

    5:30 PM ET, November 19, 2004

    McCamish Pavilion, Atlanta, Georgia

    1 2 T
    ALST 16 2137
    #3GT 31 4374

    Top Performers

    Alabama St: K. Spicer 6 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 3 Stl

    Georgia Tech: J. Jack 20 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast

    Jackets' defense too much for Alabama State

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia Tech was ahead 2-0 before the tipoff.

    The way the Yellow Jackets (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today; No. 3 AP) were playing defense, it appeared that might be enough.

    Jarrett Jack scored 20 points and Georgia Tech held Alabama State scoreless for more than nine minutes at the beginning of a 74-37 rout on Friday.

    Georgia Tech (1-0) led 2-0 before the clock started running. Tyrece Legette was given a technical for dunking during the pregame warmups, and Jack hit two free throws.

    Then, it was time for the tipoff.

    While the Yellow Jackets struggled offensively, the defensive intensity lasted for 40 minutes. It was their fewest points allowed since an 81-37 victory over Wofford in 1977.

    "We've shown we can be a great -- not good, a great -- defensive team," coach Paul Hewitt said.

    Lacking the size or quickness to withstand the onslaught, Alabama State (0-1) never stood a chance. The Hornets made just 13 of 51 shots (26 percent) and were outrebounded 51-33.

    "We really didn't get it going offensively," Jack said. "But we didn't let the negative energy affect us at the defensive end. We dug down and really got it going in the second half."

    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.

    "We've set a standard for ourselves, and we have to live up to it," said Jack, one of four returning starters from last season. "We definitely have the potential."

    Georgia Tech certainly didn't get a challenge from Alabama State, which made the NCAA Tournament last season by winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.

    "They're so big at every position," Hornets coach Rob Spivey said. "They play physical, and they're quick."

    Georgia Tech pushed its lead to 13-0 before the Hornets finally scored with 10:43 remaining in the first half on Dustin Richmond's fallaway jumper just as the shot clock expired.

    Alabama State was caught off guard by the technical.

    "I didn't see it, but the officials told me before the game started that it would be called," Spivey said. "All the players are supposed to know you can't do that."

    Hewitt was glad to get the season started. Now, at least, he doesn't have to keep hearing about last season.

    "We feel like we have a chance to be another good basketball team," he said. "We're ready to start focusing on this year's team and how we can get better this year.

    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 banked 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 hit 5 of 8 from the field -- including three from beyond the 3-point arc -- and was 7 of 8 at the free-throw line. But he was the exception; the Yellow Jackets shot just under 41 percent (26 of 64).

    Not that it mattered.

    Elder, who made only 1 of 9 in the first half, bounced back to score 15 points. Muhammad had nine points and 10 rebounds.

    Alexander Oliver, with 11 points, was the only player in double figures for the Hornets.

    The Yellow Jackets are eager to start building on last season.

    "When you make the Final Four, the next step is to win the championship," Jack said. "It's important for us not to get complacent."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 37 74
    FG Made-Attempted 13-51 (.255) 26-64 (.406)
    3P Made-Attempted 3-9 (.333) 5-21 (.238)
    FT Made-Attempted 8-11 (.727) 17-28 (.607)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 37

    2004-05 Season

    » Nov 19, 2004 @GT 74, ALST 37Recap