ATLANTA -- It was difficult to tell which factor was more prevalent for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Wednesday night in their 80-70 win over Wofford College at Alexander Memorial Coliseum:
An inspired second half by junior 7-footer Alvin Jones or the road weariness of a Terriers team that was playing its third game in three states over a five-day span.
Wofford coach Richard Johnson downplayed the fatigue theory and Jones said his zero points and one rebound before intermission to the flow of the game.
Either way, Tech pushed over the .500 mark for the first time in five games. And while Jason Collier scored a team-high 22 points, it was Jones who led the way, scoring all of his 11 points and four of his five rebounds in the second half.
"It was really just how the game was happening," said Jones, who struggled against double- and triple-team defensive looks in the first half. "If they've got guys jumping at me, I've got to pass the ball."
Collier became the 29th Tech player to surpass 1,000 career points on a layup with 7:20 left, and with 11 rebounds he notched his ACC-best fifth double-double. Senior Jason Floyd, with 826 career points, should reach the plateau later in the year.
In the midst of playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation, the Terriers didn't figure to scare easily.
They figured to be tired with their recent schedule, but Wofford coach Richard Johnson said fatigue was not a factor, even in the final four minutes, when Tech outscored the Terriers 16-7 to finish off the win.
"That was an old Les Robinson move," said Johnson, who gave his club the day off Tuesday after Monday's 80-65 loss to William & Mary. "When you're playing bad, Les would give them the day off instead of beating them to death in practice."
Tech (5-4) won its second straight over a mid-major school. Both games have been tight at the end in a stretch of the schedule where the Yellow Jackets were expected to have a breather to get ready for their ACC opener Jan. 8 at Virginia.
"We're supposed to be in the top league in the country," said Collier. "For us to be competitive in the ACC, we need to be blowing these teams out."
With the win, the Yellow Yackets moved to 6-0 against Wofford under Cremins, who moved within two victories of tying Lefty Driesell for third place on the all-time list for ACC coaches.
Wofford (3-7) dropped its fourth straight and was denied a sweep over its two ACC opponents.
Before pushing to a 76-68 lead in the final minute, the biggest lead of the game was Tech's 18-9 cushion in the first half.
"We had a chance to put the game away there and we didn't capitalize," said Cremins.
With Wofford content to load up the middle and make Tech win the game from the perimeter, the Jackets nonetheless were carried by Collier, who scored 15 of points in the first half.
He was countered by Wofford junior Ian Chadwick. Chadwick, who scored 16 in the Terriers' 76-63 loss at Tech last year, surpassed that with an 18-point first half and finished with a game-high 26.
"Ian Chadwick is amazing," said Cremins. "Yes, I should have recruited him out of high school."
Chadwick, one of five Atlantans on the Wofford roster, sparked a 6-0 Terrier run in the final two minutes of the first half with a 3-pointer, and a bucket from guard Kenny Hastie with 33 seconds gave them a 33-32 lead.
In the second half, the lead changed hands four times and the Terriers were within one point, 64-63, when Rashane DeLoach crammed in an open dunk at the 4:16 mark.
The rest of the way, the Jackets outscored Wofford 16-7, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final 1:19 to seal the win.