ATLANTA --- Georgia Tech used a 16-1 run over less than a three-minute span in the second half to break open a close game on the way to handing Tennessee State an 82-72 defeat Saturday evening in men's college basketball play.
TSU was trailing the Yellow Jackets 39-35 following the Tigers' Clarence Matthews layup at the 14:50 mark of the second period. The Yellow Jackets then made their run to extend their lead to 55-36 at the 11:53 mark.
The Tigers would face as much as a 24-point deficit before coming back to cut the final deficit to 10 points.
"I thought that we had much better shot selection today and were more patient on offense than we were Thursday (at Southeast Missouri)," said TSU head coach Cy Alexander. "Defensively, in the second half we did not have as much energy in our zone and that hurt us. Also, Georgia Tech did an excellent job of hitting some key shots and from the free throw line."
Tech's Jeremis Smith, a 58-percent free throw shooter entering the contest, made all 10 free throw attempts and led Tech with 22 points and 11 rebounds. As a team, Tech was 22-of-26 from the free throw line.
TSU was led by junior forward Clarence Matthews who scored 22 points. Guard Bruce Price added 18 points, all coming in the second half. Wayne Arnold tallied 17 points, making 6-of-10 field goals, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range. Arnold also led TSU with eight rebounds from his guard position.
TSU was playing its second game in less than 24 hours. The Tigers are in a stretch of three games in five days and will return to Ohio Valley Conference play with a game Monday night at Eastern Illinois.