The Bulldogs thumped Georgia Tech 91-75 in front of 9,827 fans in Stegeman Coliseum, giving the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the football team each a victory over their traditional rival in the last 12 days. After the game, though, the Bulldogs were more gratified by the fact that they avenged a 38-point loss to the Yellow Jackets last season.
“That was a big factor,” said forward Younes Idrissi, who was at the center of a second-half shoving match. “Everybody was mad and stressed out about what we did last year. We wanted to beat them up.”
Georgia’s football team beat the Yellow Jackets 14-7 in Atlanta on Nov. 26, and its women’s basketball team won 72-66 on Sunday in Athens.
“The football team has that established winning tradition, and that’s what we’re trying to get to,” said center Dave Bliss.
The Bulldogs (6-1) won their sixth consecutive game, their longest winning streak under third-year coach Dennis Felton. It’s the second time in the last three years Georgia has swept the three sports.
Georgia won the game with dominant guard play. Starting sophomores Sundiata Gaines, Channing Toney and Levi Stukes and freshman reserve Billy Humphrey combined for 60 points, with Humphrey’s 19 leading the way.
Georgia Tech (3-3) got a game-high 28 points from Anthony Morrow but just 18 points from the rest of its guards. More tellingly, the Bulldogs had 17 assists toTech’s seven and only turned the ball over seven times, compared to 13 by the Yellow Jackets.
“Our guards are underrated,” Toney said. “A lot of people don’t know about us, and we’re trying to do something about that. This is a great confidence booster, a victory over a good Georgia Tech team. I mean, they’re young, but we’re young, too.”
Gaines, Georgia’s point guard, had 16 points and five assists versus just one turnover, while his counterpoint, Zam Fredrick had six points on 1 of 12 shooting and four turnovers.
“We do have terrific guards, and they’re playing well and they’re playing well together,” Felton said. “Yeah, I like our guards.”
The Yellow Jackets also failed to take full advantage of their talent advantage in the post. Georgia had no answer for sophomore forward Jeremis Smith, who scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds but missed 12-of-21 free throws. Smith was 4-of-11 from the free throw line in the first half, which is when the game got out of hand for the Jackets.
The game almost got out of control with 8:52 left, when Idrissi began scuffling with a Georgia Tech player while battling for a loose ball. Eventually, Georgia’s Levi Stukes and Tech’s Lewis Clinch had to be separated, and technical fouls were called on Humphrey and Morrow.
The Bulldogs went ahead 60-42 thanks to five straight points from Humphrey, who stuck a short baseline jumper to give Georgia a 60-42 lead with 14:18 left in the game. After Tech closed the game to 60-49, Gaines and Humphrey scored back-to-back baskets to push the lead back to 15 points at 64-49.
The game started with a blur as the teams combined to hit 11 of their first 17 shots and traded the lead 10 times in the first 12 minutes. However, with Fredrick on the bench with three fouls, Georgia outscored the Jackets 17-5 to close the first half.
NOTE: Georgia freshman forward Terrance Woodbury missed his fourth straight game due to a knee sprain.