Stephens lifts Georgia Tech past Georgia, 80-73
ATLANTA (AP) — Quinton Stephens scored a career-high 22 points while making six 3-pointers, and Georgia Tech beat Georgia 80-73 on Friday night for its first four-game winning streak in the state rivalry in 51 years.
Charles Mitchell, a transfer from Maryland, had 20 points and a game-high nine rebounds in his debut for Georgia Tech (1-0).
Nemanja Djurisic led Georgia (0-1) with 18 points. Marcus Thornton had 12.
A 3-pointer by Kenny Gaines and layup by J.J. Frazier allowed Georgia to pull to within 74-71 with 34.1 seconds remaining. Georgia Tech made six of eight free throws in the final 26 seconds to ice the win.
Georgia Tech is 4-0 against Georgia under coach Brian Gregory. It last won four straight over Georgia from 1962-63, when the team played two times each season.
Georgia Tech led by 16 points in the first half. Georgia cut the lead to four points at 50-46 early in the second half before Mitchell answered with two straight baskets, including a left-handed jam.
Thornton couldn’t connect on an attempt near the basket on the Bulldogs’ first possession, setting the stage for shooting problems that continued throughout the half. Georgia made only 11 of 35 shots (31.4 percent), including 4 of 16 3-pointers, in the half.
Djurisic hit three 3-pointers in the half for Georgia, including one at the buzzer before halftime, but he missed six other attempts from the field.
While the Bulldogs struggled to find the basket, Mitchell had a strong debut. The Yellow Jackets took a big lead of 16 points at 40-24 late in the half before settling for a 42-23 advantage at the break.
Mitchell wasn’t the only transfer to make his debut for the Yellow Jackets. Demarco Cox, a 6-foot-8, 276-pound forward from Mississippi, took advantage of his bulk to score 10 points with eight rebounds. Former East Carolina forward Robert Sampson, a senior who is the son of Hall of Famer Ralph Sampson, had three points and eight rebounds.
Georgia: Gaines, a returning starting guard who has been sidelined with an illness, played in a reserve role and had 11 points. His late 3-pointer was a rare success for the Bulldogs, who shot only 5 of 20 on 3s.
Georgia Tech: Stephens, who had a broken nose last season, continues to wear a plastic shield over his face. His previous career high was 13 points at North Carolina State as a freshman last season. Marcus Georges-Hunt had 11 points and five assists.
Georgia plays Stony Brook on Tuesday night in the first of three straight home games.
Georgia Tech plays Alabama A&M on Tuesday night.