2nd-half spurt helps Georgia Tech hold off NC State 90-83

Quinton Stephens
Georgia Tech's Quinton Stephens celebrates after hitting a three-point basket in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Virginia Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 26 points — including a five-point possession that started the decisive second-half run — to help Georgia Tech beat North Carolina State 90-83 on Wednesday night.

Nick Jacobs added 20 points for the Yellow Jackets (12-8, 2-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who led nearly all night in a matchup of teams sitting near the bottom of the league standings.

Georgia Tech had labored through the start of ACC play, struggling to maintain leads while playing against some of the league’s top teams.

The Yellow Jackets again had some trouble protecting a double-digit lead Wednesday, but did enough to hold off Anthony “Cat” Barber and Abdul-Malik Abu in what amounted to a two-man offensive attack for the Wolfpack (11-10, 1-7).

After the Wolfpack closed a 14-point gap to a point midway through the second half, Georgia Tech answered with a 15-1 burst that began with a critical sequence.

Georges-Hunt first scored over BeeJay Anya while being fouled at the 10:32 mark, then official Brian Kersey whistled Abu after he slammed the ball to the court in frustration. Georges-Hunt made the two technical free throws, followed by one more to complete his three-point play to push the lead to 59-53.

Georgia Tech eventually pushed that margin to 69-54 on Jacobs’ hook shot at the 7:16 mark to complete the 15-1 run that saw N.C. State miss eight straight shots and go 4½ minutes without a basket.

The Wolfpack got as close as five in the final minutes but no closer, snapping a five-game winning streak in the series dating to January 2012.

Barber, the ACC’s leading scorer at 22.1 points per game, scored 36 points on 13-for-27 shooting. Abu added a career-high 22 points to go with 11 rebounds for N.C. State, which is off to the program’s worst ACC start since going 0-8 in the 1996-97 season.

TIP-INS

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets’ five ACC losses have come by a combined 26 points. … Adam Smith added 20 points with four 3-pointers. … Georgia Tech shot just 36 percent after halftime, including 0 for 5 from behind the arc, but helped itself by hitting 23 of 28 free throws.

N.C. State: Freshman Maverick Rowan scored 13 points and was the only other Wolfpack player in double figures. … N.C. State shot 45 percent, made 6 of 14 3-pointers and 19 of 24 free throws for the game. … Barber also had five assists.

UP NEXT

Georgia Tech travels to Syracuse on Saturday.

N.C. State host No. 15 Miami on Saturday.

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