AR-Little Rock 54

(1-2, 0-2 away)

(3) Georgia Tech 79

(3-0, 2-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 26, 2004

    McCamish Pavilion, Atlanta, Georgia

    1 2 T
    UALR 21 3354
    #3GT 38 4179

    Top Performers

    Arkansas-Little Rock: Z. Wright 13 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    Georgia Tech: J. Jack 10 Pts, 9 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Stl

    Jackets 136-8 at home vs. non-conference foes since '81-82

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia Tech was in no mood to celebrate this victory, not after a sickening injury to one of its most promising players.

    B.J. Elder scored 23 points and the third-ranked Yellow Jackets started with a 23-2 run, cruising to a 79-54 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock on Friday night.

    But the game was marred by an injury to freshman Jeremis Smith, who already was emerging as a key player off the bench. He went down with less than 2 minutes remaining, screaming in pain after dislocating his right knee cap.

    "I've never experienced something like that," said another freshman, Anthony Morrow. "I couldn't even look at his mom (sitting in the stands). I was almost teary eyed."

    Smith was taken to a nearby hospital for X-rays to determine if he did any other damage to the knee. Even in the best-case scenario, the injury would be similar to the one sustained by another Georgia Tech player, Theodis Tarver, before last season.

    Tarver was out for 2½ months and didn't fully recover until this past summer.

    "You never want to see this happen to anyone, but especially to someone who works as hard as Jeremis does and loves to play as much as he does," coach Paul Hewitt said. "We've got to think about his long-term recovery. As far as our team is concerned, we'll be fine."

    The Yellow Jackets (3-0) had an easy time after struggling to a 60-59 victory at Illinois-Chicago on Monday.

    Arkansas-Little Rock (1-2) missed 11 of its first 12 shots and had five turnovers while Georgia Tech was pulling away. The Trojans shot just 29 percent in the first half, trailed 38-21 at the break and never got closer than 13 in the second half.

    After Brandon Freeman's jumper pulled the Trojans within 5-2, the Yellow Jackets scored 18 in a row. Isma'il Muhammad was unstoppable on the inside, scoring seven points, while Elder, Morrow and Jarrett Jack all chipped in with 3-pointers.

    Arkansas-Little Rock played two of the nation's top teams this week, losing 90-65 at No. 6 Oklahoma State on Tuesday.

    Freeman led the Trojans with 18 points, though he made just 1-of-9 from 3-point range. Overall, Arkansas-Little Rock was 2-of-17 from outside the arc.

    Muhammad scored 13 for the Yellow Jackets, while Will Bynum (11) and Jack (10) also cracked double-figures. Jack just missed his first career triple-double, doling out nine assists and grabbing nine rebounds.

    Georgia Tech used 13 players and gave extended time to Smith and Morrow.

    But Smith wasn't around at the end. With just 1:24 remaining and Georgia Tech leading 77-52, Zack Wright drove toward the basket for Arkansas-Little Rock.

    Smith moved over, trying to take the charge, but landed awkwardly on his right knee and collapsed to the court. A hush fell over the crowd when the youngster screamed in agony.

    A wheelchair was brought on the court, but Smith was unable to get off the floor. Finally, four teammates came out to lift him onto a stretcher and Smith was wheeled away as a trainer held the grotesquely distorted knee.

    "I can't explain it," Elder said. "It was like his knee was completely turned around on the side. That's something I've never seen before."

    With the mood suddenly somber, Georgia Tech finished out its 17th straight victory over a non-conference opponent at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Yellow Jackets are 136-8 in those games since 1982.

    Arkansas-Little Rock coach Steve Shields was pleased that his team didn't totally fall apart after falling behind by 21 in the first 10 minutes.

    "I was really proud of our guys and the way we kept battling," he said. "I thought we bounced back well in the second half and I could see the spirit in the guys' eyes throughout the game, which is a huge positive for our team."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 54 79
    FG Made-Attempted 20-61 (.328) 32-68 (.471)
    3P Made-Attempted 2-17 (.118) 9-21 (.429)
    FT Made-Attempted 12-15 (.800) 6-11 (.545)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 25

    2004-05 Season

    » Nov 26, 2004 @GT 79, UALR 54Recap