GEORGIA TECH — Georgia Tech Football has moved into the SEC West with a 34-28 win over South Carolina in the Georgia Dome on Saturday.
The Red Wolves (9-3, 5-2) now sit atop the conference standings with a six-game win streak.
A.J. Hawk’s 12 points and two blocks were the best scoring performances by a Georgia Tech player since he scored 11 points in a 23-point effort against Virginia Tech in the season opener on Nov. 16.
The freshman guard finished with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
The 6-foot-7 Hawk was the first freshman to score 20 points in the SEC this season.
Georgia Tech finished with a 55.7 percent shooting performance.
The Yellow Jackets shot 57.9 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc.
The Red Wolves had to rely heavily on their athleticism in the paint and run the floor to score.
Georgia Tech led by as many as 17 in the second half, including eight fast-break points.
The teams played to a scoreless tie after three quarters.
In the first half, the Red Wolves outscored the Yellow Jackets 15-6.
Red Wolves coach Tom Lemming was pleased with the effort.
“I thought they were a terrific team today,” Lemming said.
“We just had to get some shots going and put them in the basket.”
After the game, Georgia Tech coach Matt Lewis said his team was a better team defensively and offense, and had a better chance to win.
Lewis said his players were in better rhythm after halftime.
He said the Red Lions had a great second half.
Gators head coach Mark Gottfried had a message for his team in the first quarter.
“They’re going to come out and play hard and play with a purpose,” Gottfried said.
When the teams were tied in the final minutes, Georgia had the ball with 7:03 remaining in the third quarter.
The ball was snapped and the clock went back to 1:00 a.m. and the Yellow Sox were up 14-14.
South Carolina coach Luke Fickell said the game plan for South Carolina was to go up by as much as possible.
He was confident that the Red Wings would come out with a chip on their shoulder, and that they’d be ready to go.
“(They) didn’t have a lot of energy or a lot on the ball in the game,” Fickel said.
“That’s where the second game starts.
They have a chip, and I think they’re going in with a big chip on the shoulder.”
Georgia Tech scored 18 points in its second half to pull within one point of the Yellow Devils.
This is the second time the Redwings have faced the Yellow Jacket in the last two seasons.
Last season, the Yellow Bulls upset Georgia Tech 42-35 in the opener at Georgia Dome.