ATLANTA (AP) -- Freshman Javaris Crittenton scored a career-best
23 points, senior Mario West also set a personal high with 18 and
Georgia Tech overcame a slow start to win its second straight in
the Atlantic Coast Conference, beating Florida State 88-80
The Yellow Jackets (13-4, 2-2 ACC) fell behind 8-0 in the first
four minutes, forcing coach Paul Hewitt to call a quick timeout.
But Georgia Tech, following up a 74-63 upset of No. 11 Duke,
surged into the lead with an 18-4 spurt. Crittenton hit a 3-pointer
to put the Yellow Jackets ahead to stay at 15-12.
Florida State (12-5, 0-3) trailed by as many as 13 in the
opening half before closing to 41-34 at the break. But the
Seminoles got off a sloppy start in the second half, turning the
ball over on six straight possessions at one point, and never got
any closer than five points the rest of the way.
Crittenton, a freshman who sure doesn't play like one, finished
off the last serious run by the visiting team. After Florida State
cut it to 63-57 with two straight baskets, the point guard hit a
desperation 3-pointer that just beat the shot clock, falling on his
back as the ball swished through.
Thaddeus Young scored with a strong move to the hoop, then
Ra'Sean Dickey stole the ensuing inbounds pass and fed it to
Crittenton for a lay-in that restored the Yellow Jackets to a
comfortable 13-point lead.
West, the lone senior on the Georgia Tech roster, also made a
strong contribution with his rugged, aggressive style. Showing no
concern for his body, he made spectacular plays at both ends of the
court, most notably during a sequence with about 12½ minutes left
in the game.
First, he stole an outlet pass and tiptoed along the sideline,
managing to stay inbounds before flipping the ball to Zach Peacock.
West broke for the basket, taking a return pass and going in for a
thunderous dunk despite being fouled, leaving the backboard shaking
for several seconds while the crowd roared.
West went 9-of-13 at the foul line to help seal the win, beating
his previous career high of 16 points against Tennessee State last
Georgia natives Toney Douglas and Al Thornton led the Seminoles,
who knocked off defending national champion Florida in early
December but remain winless in the ACC. Douglas scored 22 points,
while Thornton had 20.
Florida State couldn't stop the Yellow Jackets, who shot 54
percent from the field and made 10-of-21 from 3-point range.
Give much of the credit to Crittenton, who continues to shine in
the ACC. He scored 22 points -- his previous best -- last weekend at
Clemson and held off Duke by scoring 9 points in the final 3½
He connected on 8-of-11 shots against the Seminoles, his only
misses coming from beyond the arc. Teammate Anthony Morrow made all
three of his 3-point attempts and finished with 17 points.
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