Georgia Tech 92, Centenary 52

Larry Logan has his shot blocked by Tech's Ra'Sean Dickey
Larry Logan has his shot blocked by Tech's Ra'Sean Dickey
Tech's Mario West tries to strip the ball
Tech's Mario West tries to strip the ball

ATLANTA - Centenary hoped to compensate for the disadvantages in size and experience by playing a zone defense, forcing Georgia Tech to make the outside shot.

The plan worked -- for Georgia Tech, which made more zone-busting outside shots than Flaska expected.

Freshman Thaddeus Young scored a season-high 21 points and led Georgia Tech's 3-point attack as the Yellow Jackets beat Centenary 92-52 on Monday night to snap a two-game losing streak.

Georgia Tech pushed the lead to double figures for good less than 7 minutes into the game and kept pulling away on the strength of its 13-for-27 3-point shooting.

"We knew we had matchup problems," Flaska said. "With our lack of size and youth, we knew that we had to play zone. That created a situation where they were going to have to shoot more 3s, and we were hoping they were going to have an off night from the 3-point line."

Instead, Young made 3 of 6 3-point shots while adding game-high totals with six rebounds and six assists. Another freshman, point guard Javaris Crittendon, made 4 of 7 3-point shots and scored 14 points. Anthony Morrow made 4 of 8 3-point attempts.

Tech (7-3) made 55.4 percent of its overall shots from the field, but coach Paul Hewitt still was not satisfied.

Hewitt said he put his team through a tough week of physical practices following back-to-back losses to Miami and Vanderbilt. Hewitt was looking for his team to regain its edge but said "there were even moments this evening I thought we were just a step slow."

Hewitt had 11 players log 12 or more minutes, none playing more than 26 minutes, and he says he may have to cut back on his generous distribution of playing time.

"Guys that have watched us play, NBA scouts and coaches that I trust, say 'Everybody knows they're going to play; they're too comfortable," Hewitt said.

Hewitt made one change Monday night. He benched freshman center Zach Peacock in favor of junior Ra'sean Dickey. Neither big man was a major factor. Dickey had four points with four rebounds; Peacock had five points and three rebounds.

"(Dickey) played better in practice," Hewitt said. "I still think there's more he can give. ... I've got to figure out a way to make sure they don't take it for granted. ... We've got to find that spark again."

Tech plays host to Georgia on Friday night.

"We're going to meet a (Georgia) team that may be better than us physically," said Hewitt, who added he was impressed by watching Georgia's win over then-No. 16 Gonzaga on Saturday.

"They're a hungry team; we've got to recapture the hunger we had."

Dickey said the players have been holding meetings. "Just talking about everything we see as a team that's wrong," he said.

Added Dickey: "We came out and practiced and fixed it."

Young set his scoring high in only 23 minutes and Clinch had 14 points in only 15 minutes.

Hewitt said the 6-foot-8 Young "is getting more comfortable."

"He played more inside in high school, and he's starting to find his spots on the perimeter. He made shots tonight, regardless of where the opponent was. He can play. The guy can play."

Centenary usually had no player on the floor taller than 6-foot-6 forward Larry Logan, and Hewitt countered by at times fielding a small lineup.

Tech's small lineup played big.

Lewis Clinch and Morrow each had 14 points, most on outside shooting.

Crittenton set a season high with nine turnovers but contributed five assists and three steals.

Tech led 53-25 at halftime and had the lead over 40 points late in the game.

Centenary, which made only 1 of 18 3-point shots in a 68-40 loss to SMU on Saturday, was only 3-for-13 on 3-pointers against Tech. Centenary suffered its third straight loss.