Georgia Tech 66, Virginia 53
ATLANTA (AP) _ Eddie Elisma equaled his career high with 23 points Thursday night and Georgia Tech pulled away for a rare Atlantic Coast Conference victory, routing Virginia 66-53.
The Yellow Jackets (9-11 overall, 3-7) took a step to avoid their first losing season since 1983, though the schedule is imposing the rest of the way.
Virginia (15-7, 5-5) had a four-game winning streak come to an end. The loss could hamper their hopes when NCAA tournament bids are doled out. Norman Nolan, with 20 points, was the only Cavalier in double figures.
Elisma, the lone senior in Tech’s starting lineup, had gone five straight games without scoring in double figures. But he was unstoppable in the second half, converting a trio of three-point plays and finishing with 17 points in the final 20 minutes.
Elisma went to work after Virginia tied the game at 35 with 15:41 remaining. He scored 14 points during a 20-7 spurt that sealed the victory for Tech, finishing it off by putting back a missed free throw to give the Yellow Jackets a commanding 55-42 lead with 8:28 left.
The 6-foot-9 center was particularly impressive on the offensive boards, grabbing seven of his game-high 12 rebounds at that end of the court. He gave the Yellow Jackets a huge boost when he gobbled up a missed shot over Virginia’s 7-4 freshman, Chase Metheney, made the shot and was fouled. His free throw gave the Yellow Jackets a 50-40 lead just past the midway point of the second half.
Elisma finished off his night with yet another three-point play, driving strong for the basket and getting fouled by Colin Ducharme. The free throw was his 23rd point, tying the career high set last season against North Carolina State. For the game, Elisma was 9-of-11 from the field and 5-of-5 at the foul line.
Michael Maddox added 17 points for the Yellow Jackets, who won despite a season-low 8 points by leading scorer Matt Harpring. Tech committed only nine turnovers _ about half its season average.
Virginia, which never led, got only eight minutes from top scorer Courtney Alexander, who continues to be bothered by a sprained ankle suffered in an earlier meeting against Tech. Alexander has two of the top three scoring games in his career against the Yellow Jackets, but he missed his only two shots Thursday.
Nolan, at 8-of-14 from the field, was the only Virginia starter to shoot better than 50 percent and the Cavaliers finished at 42 percent (20-of-48).