ATLANTA (AP) -- For Georgia Tech, winning wasn't enough. The
Yellow Jackets wanted to do something special after watching North
Carolina dismantle Maryland.
Holding up its end heading into a much-anticipated Atlantic
Coast Conference game, Georgia Tech (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today; No. 9 AP) dominated Virginia in the
second half for a 92-69 victory Saturday night.
Jarrett Jack scored 22 points and the Yellow Jackets (11-2, 2-0
ACC) came through with their best defensive effort of the season.
That sets up quite a game in Chapel Hill on Wednesday: The
Yellow Jackets vs. North Carolina (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today; No. 3 AP), which routed Maryland (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today; No. 22 AP) 109-75 earlier in the day.
In the expanded ACC, it's the only regular-season meeting
between the powerhouses.
"They played great at home, defended their home court," Jack
said. "We did the same thing."
Luke Schenscher, who had 15 rebounds and five of Georgia Tech's
14 blocks, also watched North Carolina's impressive performance.
"They were pretty awesome -- and that's an understatement,"
Schenscher said. "When they're all firing like that, playing like
a team, it's going to be a challenge."
The Yellow Jackets led by as many as 32 points and outscored
Virginia 48-31 over the final 20 minutes -- a striking turnaround
from the first half.
There were seven lead changes and five ties in the opening
period, but Georgia Tech began to gain the upper hand in the waning
minutes. The Yellow Jackets closed with a 14-6 spurt, going to the
locker room with their biggest lead of the game to that point,
It got much worse for Virginia (9-3, 0-2) in the second half.
The Cavaliers made only 11 of 40 shots the rest of the way and
finished at just under 30 percent from the field.
"We're not going to be this good every night, but these guys
leave it out there," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said.
"They've worked hard to become one of the best teams in the
The defense was stifling. Led by Schenscher, Georgia Tech set a
school record for blocks in an ACC game. The Big Aussie also did
stellar work on the boards, after getting pushed around on the
boards by Miami two nights earlier.
"One of the big things I wanted to do was get the rebounds I
missed the other night," Schenscher said.
It didn't help that Virginia was missing its leading scorer.
Devin Smith, averaging 17.4 points, sat out his third straight
contest because of an ailing ankle.
But Georgia Tech also was missing a key player and didn't miss a
beat. With B.J. Elder (who averages more than 13 points) sitting
out his second game in a row because of a hamstring injury, three
players stepped up big.
Senior Anthony McHenry, the lowest-scoring starter, tied his
career high with 13 points and had three blocks. Freshmen Ra'Sean
Dickey and Anthony Morrow, coming off the bench, ensured that
Elder's absence was barely noticed.
Dickey had 13 points -- going 5-of-5 from the field -- to go along
with two blocks and a steal. Keeping pace, Morrow was fearless from
the outside, hitting three shots from beyond the 3-point arc to
also finish with 13 points. He had five rebounds and two blocks,
too, before fouling out.
Jack just played his normal game. He went 5-of-7 from 3-point
range -- a career-high -- doled out seven assists and kept the
freshmen under control when things got a little helter-skelter in
the second half.
"I was trying to be aggressive," Jack said. "With B.J. going
down, someone has to fill the scoring void."
The Yellow Jackets got a scare near the end of the game when
Dickey went down. He managed to limp off the court but was favoring
his right leg. Hewitt said he didn't believe the injury was
J.R. Reynolds led Virginia with a career-high 21 points, but he
was just 5-of-17 from the field. That's the way it went for just
about everyone in a Cavaliers uniform.
"They are a terrific team and they played great defense,"
coach Pete Gillen said. "We just couldn't score, we got frustrated
and then things fell apart."
Georgia Tech hasn't had much trouble with Virginia, winning 16
of the last 20 meetings -- including nine of 10 at Alexander
"We kind of folded in the second half," Virginia's Sean
Singletary said. "We couldn't match their intensity."