Yellow Jackets upset exhausted Blue Devils
Associated Press
Sunday, January 10, 2010

ATLANTA --- Georgia Tech was a team on a mission. It showed.

Duke was just plain tired. That showed, too.

Gani Lawal scored 21 points, including a crucial shot with just more than a minute remaining, and No. 20 Georgia Tech recovered from a dismal loss with a 71-67 upset of the fifth-ranked Blue Devils on Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets avoided an 0-2 start in conference play and made up for Tuesday's 73-66 loss to Georgia, a team that doesn't have nearly as much as talent.

"This was a great bounce-back win," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "The guys were really disappointed about that game the other night."

Lawal worked the boards hard, putting back two misses in a row during one pivotal stretch, and Georgia Tech (12-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) went ahead for good on yet another hustle play. Zachery Peacock grabbed an airball under the basket and flipped in a shot that put Georgia Tech ahead 62-60 with 1:52 left.

After Kyle Singler missed again for Duke (13-2, 1-1) on a 3-pointer -- the junior forward was 2 for 13 from the field -- Lawal hit an awkward turnaround jumper from about 10 feet to give Georgia Tech some breathing room.

"I've practiced that shot. I knew it was good when it left my hand," Lawal said. "I told the guys, 'Just find a way to get me the ball.' "

The Blue Devils were stymied by a miserable performance beyond the arc (6 for 28 on 3-pointers) and had their slim depth exposed by foul trouble. Lance Thomas picked up his fifth with more than 10 minutes left, and three other players finished with four.

Duke didn't provide star Jon Scheyer much help. The point guard followed up a 31-point effort against Iowa State with 25 points and six assists. But Mason Plumlee, with 10 points off the bench, was the only other Duke player in double figures.

The Blue Devils were playing their third game in a week.

"They were fresher than we were," said coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose team had been on a seven-game winning streak. "They wore us down some. That can tell in the shooting, when your legs aren't completely there."

Duke had twice as many 3-point attempts as the Yellow Jackets but didn't get much more out of it. Georgia Tech was 5 for 14.

The Yellow Jackets managed to avert an 0-2 start in conference play by turning up the defensive pressure on Duke, pressing and trapping much more than they did against Georgia, and crashing the boards in the second half.

"Thinking back to Tuesday, I really let us down by not pressing more and trapping more," Hewitt said. "My judgment was not right, not good."

The Blue Devils had a 20-12 rebounding edge in the opening half, but Georgia Tech dominated 26-12 after the break. Lawal led the Yellow Jackets with nine rebounds.

From the Sunday, January 10, 2010 edition of the Augusta Chronicle


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