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Monday, November 27, 2006

#19 Georgia Tech 92, #12 Memphis 85

No. 19 Georgia Tech 92, No. 12 Memphis 85

By Jim O'connell

6:49 p.m. November 21, 2006

LAHAINA, Hawaii – Jeremis Smith and Ra'Sean Dickey, two junior big men on a team known for its freshmen stars, dominated the boards in the second half and No. 19 Georgia Tech overcame a 16-point deficit for a 92-85 victory over No. 12 Memphis on Tuesday in the semifinals of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.

The Yellow Jackets (5-0) will play in the championship game Wednesday night against the winner of the late semifinal between No. 5 UCLA and No. 20 Kentucky.

Memphis (2-1) took a 46-30 halftime lead using its speed and tenacious defense to go up by as many as 19 points. The 6-foot-8 Smith, who had 21 points and nine rebounds, and the 6-10 Dickey, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds, then took over the boards in the second half, especially on the offensive end.

The Yellow Jackets held Memphis to one field goal during an 8½-minute stretch that started with 14 minutes to play. During that span, Georgia Tech had six field goals on offensive rebounds, two of which were part of three-point plays. Smith and Dickey each had two of the rebound baskets.

Georgia Tech went on an 11-0 run to take a 68-62 lead and the last points of it were a tip-in by Mouhammad Faye. Eight of the points in the spurt came on offensive rebounds.

Chris Douglas-Roberts had 26 points for Memphis, which was outrebounded 29-9 over the final 20 minutes. Smith and Dickey had two more rebounds than the Tigers managed in the second half.

The Yellow Jackets went on to lead by as many as 13 points, 83-70, on a three-point play by Smith with 2:22 to go. It wasn't an offensive rebound, just a strong dunk ahead of the field with Memphis' Jeremy Hunt draped over his back.

Georgia Tech's heralded freshman trio of Thaddeus Young, Javaris Crittenton and Zach Peacock came into the game averaging a combined 42.1 points per game. They had a total of nine in the first half. Young finished with 11 against Memphis, while Crittenton had 10 and Peacock two.

Robert Dozier, Memphis' leading scorer at 13 points per game, was in foul trouble throughout the game and didn't score. He played eight minutes, fouling out with 10:09 to play.

Memphis went ahead 22-9 halfway through the first half as Georgia Tech missed 10 of its first 11 shots from the field and 14 of its first 17.

Memphis, meanwhile, was hitting at a 60 percent clip (9-of-15) to take the 13-point lead. The Tigers led by as many as 19 points, the second time at 32-13 with 7:19 to go on a drive by Douglas-Roberts.

Whenever it seemed as though the Yellow Jackets could be ready to make some kind of run, Memphis had an answer, including two 3-pointers by freshman Doneal Mack in the final 2:09 of the half as the Tigers went up 46-30.

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