Wednesday November 25th, 2015 8:37PM

Jackets clamp down on Presbyterian 52-38

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech wasn't good from distance Wednesday night, and for a while the Yellow Jackets weren't much better close to the basket before they finally started pounding the ball inside to beat Presbyterian 52-38 in a non-conference game.

From start to finish, the Yellow Jackets (2-0) took care of the basketball, and that's something they couldn't say a year ago. Freshmen Marcus Georges-Hunt and Robert Carter Jr. scored 10 points each with one combined turnover in Georgia Tech's new McCamish Pavilion. The Yellow Jackets had just seven turnovers to Presbyterian's 18.

The bigger team from the Atlantic Coast Conference didn't take advantage of its size in the first half, when after trailing 12-2, Presbyterian went on an 18-4 run. The Yellow Jackets missed 11 straight shots from the field during the spurt. Presbyterian's zone threw Georgia Tech out of whack. Ten of those shots were jumpers, seven from 3-point territory.

Presbyterian (0-2) led 25-24 at halftime, but after the Blue Hose scored the first basket of the second half, the Jackets scored 18 straight points and had a 22-4 edge in paint points after intermission.

Carter scored nine of his 10 in the second half. When he tallied from point-blank range on Tech's first possession, center Daniel Miller did the same on the second, and then Carter did it again a new template was set.

"We were moving the ball better, making plays for each other," said Georgia Tech head coach Brian Gregory. "We haven't worked against a lot of zone. I think the post guys posted harder, and the (perimeter) guys looked in there a little more.

"There was no doubt that getting the ball moving, getting the post guys posting and getting the guys to look in there was more emphasized."

This game was largely about ball security. Tech outscored Presbyterian 23-10 off turnovers.

Last season, the Yellow Jackets ranked 321st out of 337 Division I teams with 99 more turnovers than takeaways - an average deficit of 3.2 per game.

Wednesday, Tech was plus-11 in turnover margin even with three freshmen - including Chris Bolden - combining to play 72 minutes with one combined turnover.

The Blue Hose had 10 turnovers in the second half, including six during the Yellow Jackets' 18-0 run.

Presbyterian senior guard Khalid Mutakabbir, who played high school basketball in metro Atlanta at Peachtree Ridge, led the Blue Hose with 13 points, but scored just one after halftime.

Gregory moved senior point guard Mfon Udofia - who scored all seven of his points in the first half - onto Mutakabbir for much of the second half. "I took it as a challenge . . . don't let him score," said Udofia. "I feel like last year at this time, you never know what would have happened."

Mutakabbir missed all four of his second-half shots, saying, "They really zeroed in on me."

The Yellow Jackets' second-half success came in stark contrast to their' first half problems. Against the Presbyterian zone, the Yellow Jackets settled for 13 3-point shots, making just two. The Blue Hose even out-scored Georgia Tech 10-6 in the paint in the first half.

After Georgia Tech pushed its second-half lead to 15 points with the 18-point run, Presbyterian never drew closer than 46-38.

Despite their size, the Yellow Jackets carved out a modest 34-30 rebounding edge and they shot just 33 percent (19-for-57), but the Yellow Jackets made 11 free throws to Presbyterian's three. Tech also had an 11-0 edge in second-chance points, and an 18-1 bulge in bench points.

The Blue Hose scored just 13 points in the second half on 5-for-18 shooting with 10 turnovers. Jordan Downing added nine points for Presbyterian. Tech got seven points and nine rebounds from Miller.

"We can't turn it over 18 times against a team like that," said Presbyterian head coach Greg Nibbert. "Their depth and their size contributed to that second-half run."
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Top 10 sports stories of the year: 2012 one for the history books
2012 has been all things to all people in the sports world. The last 12 months have run the gamut of emotions and given fans and spectators much to awe, rue and everything in between.
2:33PM ( 2 years ago )
College Football Hall to break ground in Atlanta
Groundbreaking for the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta will be Jan. 28 and the museum is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
2:15PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech's 2nd half surge beats Fordham 73-48
Daniel Miller and Robert Carter Jr. each scored 14 points and Georgia Tech scored 17 straight points in the second half en route to a 73-48 victory over Fordham on Saturday night.
10:17PM ( 2 years ago )
Djurisic's career night leads Dogs past Florida A&M
Nemanja Djurisic scored a career-high 21 points and Georgia won its third straight Saturday 82-73 over Florida A&M.
7:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Ga. Southern beats Ga. State, 68-64 in overtime
Eric Ferguson scored 24 points and Georgia Southern overcame a late double-digit deficit to beat Georgia State 68-64 in overtime on Saturday.
7:25PM ( 2 years ago )
College Sports
Wolves proving early skeptics wrong
It’s hard to imagine a Buford team having to play with a chip on its shoulder. But if ever there has been a collective group of Wolves that felt the need, the 2015 squad is it.
5:14PM ( 3 hours ago )
Marshall brothers add turkey to Georgia-Ga Tech rivalry
The Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry this year will feature a Thanksgiving feast that brings opposing players to the same dinner table.
10:52AM ( 9 hours ago )
Boys basketball: Discovery knocks off White County for Turkey Shootout title
Discovery won the boys Turkey Shootout Tournament at Chestatee High Tuesday with a 71-61 victory over White County in the finals.
By The Associated Press
12:16AM ( 20 hours ago )
Boys basketball: Lions take out Vikings for Piedmont Classic crown
The Lakeview Academy boys basketball team knocked off East Hall 87-69 on Tuesday to claim the Piedmont College Hardwood Classic title in Demorest.
By AccessWDUN Staff
12:07AM ( 20 hours ago )
Girls basketball: East Hall knocks off Lakeview for Piedmont title
The East Hall girls basketball team continued its strong start to the season on Tuesday, pushing past Lakeview Academy 61-51 to claim the Piedmont College Hardwood Classic in Demorest.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:58PM ( 20 hours ago )