Originally created 01/31/05

Terps smack Jackets



COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Georgia Tech escaped Atlanta before the ice storm hit, leaving for Sunday's game against Maryland on Friday, a day early.

There's no colder place for these Yellow Jackets than the road, though, regardless of the temperature.

The Jackets lost for the fourth-straight time when playing outside their hometown with a 79-71 loss to the Terrapins on Sunday at Comcast Center.

Plagued by poor shooting and what coach Paul Hewitt called poorer defensive effort, Georgia Tech lost for the fourth time in its past five games to fall to 12-6 overall, 3-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Jackets' record is 1-4 in games away from Atlanta, and Hewitt and his players admitted Sunday they play differently on the road.

"Our energy level is down on the road," point guard Jarrett Jack said. "It's not the same as when we're in our building. We play the way we're capable of at home, but for some reason, it doesn't carry over."

Georgia Tech was clearly out of sync on a snowy day in suburban Washington, D.C. The team airballed a trio of 3-pointers, threw two passes into the stands and fumbled away three unchallenged rebounds. The Jackets shot a season-low 35 percent from the field and made just two shots outside 10 feet in the game's first 30 minutes.

Guard Will Bynum, who came into Sunday's game having scored 58 points in his past two games, picked up three fouls in the first half. He finished with just 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting.

As much as the Jackets struggled offensively, Hewitt was more disappointed in the team's failures on the defensive end. Maryland (13-5, 4-3) scored several easy baskets off screens and uncontested jumpers. Four Terrapins scored 14 points or more.

"It's OK not to shoot the ball well sometimes, but I thought we had too many breakdowns defensively," Hewitt said.

Reach Adam Van Brimmer at (404) 589-8424 or adam.vanbrimmer@morris.com.