Originally created 01/26/03

Jackets falter in second half



DURHAM, N.C. - Duke's surge was quick but decisive, and Georgia Tech had neither the energy nor the resolve to to overcome it.

"Their intensity was greater than ours," guard Marvin Lewis said after the Yellow Jackets' 91-71 loss to No. 3 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday.

"Collectively, in the second half, we weren't ready to play."

Duke, which had lost its past two games and led at the half in both of them, made certain they wouldn't make it a three-peat.

The Blue Devils, who ended the first half on a 6-0 run, began the second with five consecutive points. Georgia Tech, which hung around for the first 20 minutes, found itself down 47-37 in one of college basketball's most hostile venues.

The Yellow Jackets (9-7, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who haven't won on the road all season, would never recover from that 11-point swing.

"We let them pick up a little momentum going into the half, but we still thought we were in the game," guard B.J. Elder said. "Then, they came out in the second and made a run and they were able to take the game from us."

The first half featured 14 lead changes, six ties and lots of fouls. Neither team led by more than five. Duke (13-2, 3-2) led 42-37 at the break. The teams combined for 25 fouls - 13 on the Yellow Jackets - and 33 free-throw attempts in the half.

In the second half, the Blue Devils quickly gained the upper hand.

It didn't help the Yellow Jackets that freshman forward Chris Bosh, the team's leading scorer, played just nine first-half minutes because of two fouls.

Without him, Georgia Tech's offense sputtered. Bosh played 22 minutes and scored five points - both season lows and well below his 30.6 and 16.3 per game averages.

Without Bosh, the Yellow Jackets couldn't create open looks for Elder and Lewis, their second and third-highest scorers, under relentless hounding from Duke's defenders.

Duke's big men - Casey Sanders and Shelden Williams - haven't been an imposing force all season but delivered Saturday. Sanders (four blocks) and Williams (three) stifled penetration. The pair also grabbed 20 rebounds, helping the Blue Devils outrebound Georgia Tech 41-29.

"In the second half offensively we struggled. Our offense in the second half was not as sharp as it should have been," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "Not having Chris out there for the minutes that he normally plays, I think offensively, it really detracted from us."

Elder (22 points) and Lewis (14) got their points, but no other Yellow Jacket managed more than seven points.