Conversely, Georgia Tech shot a sizzling 52 percent from the field, including 57 percent in the second half. Marvin Lewis and B.J. Elder led the Yellowjackets with 24 and 20 points, respectively, and shot a combined 16-of-25 from the field or just two field goals fewer than Tennessee's team total. Lewis led Tech's perimeter attack by nailing 5-of-6 three-point shots, as the Yellowjackets made 8-of-16 from behind the arc compared to Tennessee's 5-of-23 total.
Georgia Tech grabbed the lead early and staved off every Tennessee rally. The Yellowjackets were up by as many as nine points in the first half and hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to take a 33-26 advantage into the locker room. It was a lost opportunity for the Vols who had Stanley Asumnu at the foul line with seven seconds remaining and trailing 30-26. However Asumnu missed both charity tosses and the Vols allowed an open look on the other end that gave Tech momentum going into intermission.
McFadgon hit his first shot of the game, a three-pointer, to start the second half but Georgia Tech (17-5) methodically took the game over. The Yellowjackets got up 54-38 with 11:25 remaining and appeared to be in control of the game. However the Vols enjoyed their only offensive outburst of the game, outscoring Tech 13-3 over the next four minutes of play to reduce the deficit to 57-51 at the 7:28 mark. The brief rally got the home crowd involved in the game for the first time, but the fan support was short lived.
Tech countered with a couple of treys and Tennessee coach Buzz Peterson was hit with a technical for arguing a moving screen call on Brandon Crump. Tech hit both free throws as the Yellowjackets got back on top by 13 and the contest was essentially over.
"Give them credit," UT coach Buzz Peterson said of Georgia Tech. "They came in and did a fine job and we could not get anything going."
C.J. Watson led Tennessee with 17 points and five assists while Crump contributed a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jemere Hendrix added nine points and 13 rebounds for the Vols who equaled Tech on the boards at 36 apiece.
Before Saturday's defeat, Tennessee hadn't lost a game at Thompson-Boling by more than two points this season. However the Vols appeared homeless against Georgia Tech as they duplicated the type of ragged effort that had been reserved for the road.
The Vols try to get back on track Wednesday when the host Arkansas.