Georgia Tech stuns #17 Georgia

ATLANTA — If there had been goal posts in Alexander Memorial Coliseum, they might have fallen Wednesday night.In a fitting prelude to Saturday's football game in Athens between the rivals, youth won out for Georgia Tech in an 83-77 victory over a 17th-ranked Georgia team loaded with upperclassmen.

Freshmen Chris Bosh and Jarrett Jack combined for 31 points and sophomore B.J. Elder overcame cramping problems to score a game-high 24 points as Tech ended Georgia's three-year winning streak in the series.

"It says a lot about us,'' Elder said. "We're a young team, but we showed tonight we can come out in a big game, step up, keep fighting and come out with a win. This one will give us a lot of confidence.''

Tech started two freshmen, two sophomores and a junior. Georgia opened with four juniors and a senior. Despite the edge in experience, it was Georgia which committed two costly turnovers in the final minute.

"I don't think it was as much what (Georgia Tech) did,'' said Georgia forward Damien Wilkins. "It was more what we did and didn't do.'' Added Wilkins: "We turned the ball over and missed a lot of easy shots, which is uncharacteristic of this team.''

The big surprise was the play of Elder, who made 10 of 18 shots from the field, including 4 of 9 3-pointers.

"I don't know if anyone in the gym was expecting that of (Elder),'' Wilkins said. "I know we weren't.''

After the game, Georgia Tech students from the sellout crowd of 9,191 rushed the court and celebrated with the team at midcourt.

Bosh, a 6-foot-10 forward with a versatile inside-outside game, added 10 rebounds to his 16 points.  Jack, a guard with Stephon Marbury-like quickness, added 16 points as Georgia Tech (2-0) beat the Bulldogs (1-2) after trailing most of the game. The freshmen only had a 113-75 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff as preparation for the game.

"It was important we get some kind of experience,'' Bosh said. "We practiced all week. We practiced for a game like this.''

Jarvis Hayes led Georgia with 20 points and Ezra Williams added 18, but Georgia could not make the big play in the end.

Georgia held a big first-half lead of 14 points and did not trail until Bosh sank a 3-pointer from near the top of the circle with 8:43 left to play.

After that, there were four ties before Elder sank a 3-pointer to give Tech the lead for good at 79-77 with 1:48 left to play. After launching the shot, Elder fell and, for the second time in the second half, had to leave with cramps in his thigh.  

Tech's Luke Schenscher then forced a turnover from Georgia point guard Rashad Wright. While trying to use up the clock, the Yellow Jackets committed a 45-second violation with 54.8 seconds left to play, giving the Bulldogs another chance.  

Georgia called a time out but quickly turned the ball over on a bad pass intended for Hayes. Georgia committed 16 turnovers, leading to 17 points for the Yellow Jackets. A free throw by Marvin Lewis with 34 seconds left pushed Tech's lead to 80-77.  

Williams, the only senior starter for either team,  missed a 3-point attempt and with 13.4 seconds left. Ismail Muhammad grabbed the rebound for Tech, was fouled and made two free throws to pad the lead.  

Ignited by a power jam from Wilkins to open the game, Georgia scored the first nine points of the game. After Georgia had a big lead of 14 points at 38-24 cut to six points at 42-36 at halftime, Tech slowly gained momentum. Four times, Tech pulled to within one point only to see Georgia answer. Finally, with Georgia clinging to a 61-60 lead, Bosh sank a 3-pointer with 8:43 left to play, giving the Yellow Jackets their first lead at 63-61.  

Georgia plays at Minnesota Saturday. Georgia Tech plays host to Gardner-Webb Sunday at 1 p.m.

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