Dec. 20, 2009
Match size with size. Seal off passing lanes. Make the Yellow Jackets earn every shot.
“They have big strong guys,” Reid said. “We couldn’t let them dunk on us. When they get into the post, they’re dangerous. They’re a pretty good team.”
Reid scored a career-high 17 points, and Chris Singleton hit the go-ahead basket with 1:05 left in overtime to help Florida State beat No. 22 Georgia Tech 66-59 on Sunday night.
The Seminoles (10-2, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their fourth straight and stopped Georgia Tech’s seven-game winning streak.
Hamilton was delighted that Reid, a senior power forward known mostly for his defense, gave Florida State an offensive boost.
“He is the only senior we have on this team,” Hamilton said. “He’s been our unsung hero for two or three years. He always seems to take the toughest defensive assignments and does all the dirty work.”
Zachery Peacock scored 17 for the Yellow Jackets (8-2, 0-1 ACC). Mfon Udofia added 12 points, and Derrick Favors pulled down 12 rebounds as Georgia Tech lost its fourth straight ACC opener.
“We went into the game feeling like we had to score in transition before they could set up defensively, but we did not do that,” Jackets coach Paul Hewitt said. “We shot early and quick in the first half. In the second half, we did a better job moving the ball around and getting some open shots.”
Reid scored on Florida State’s first two possessions of overtime before Singleton banked in a one-handed runner to make it 61-59 and put the Seminoles ahead to stay.
On his first overtime basket, Reid hit a 15-footer from the left baseline after Derwin Kitchen drove the lane and passed to his open teammate.
“I’m not being big-headed, but I’ve been working on that shot,” Reid said. “It just went down.”
Singleton missed his first eight shots from the field and finished 0 for 6 on 3-point attempts.
Peacock, whose 17-footer forced a 54-54 tie with 33 seconds left in regulation, hit a 3-pointer to begin OT and give the Yellow Jackets their first lead since his runner made it 37-36 at the 9:47 mark of the second half.
But Georgia Tech ended the game with a 32.9 percentage on 70 attempts from the field. Gani Lawal scored a season-low four points on 1 for 7 shooting, and Brian Oliver went 1 for 6 on 3-point attempts.
Lawal began the game tied for the conference lead with a 10.4 rebounding average. He finished with four.
“We all know Gani is an outstanding player, and a couple of shots just didn’t fall for him, and we were able to get enough guys around him,” Hamilton said. “At times when he got the ball, we had about four or five guys around him, and that’s because we have so much respect for him.”
The 6-foot-10, 246-pound Favors couldn’t do much against the Seminoles, either.
“They’re a pretty long team, so I guess the guards couldn’t see a way to get into the post,” Favors said. “It did get frustrating a little bit, but you’ve got to move on to the next play.”
The Yellow Jackets, who hit only eight of 26 shots beyond the arc, are seeking their second winning ACC record, and first since the 2003-04 team advanced to the national title game, in 10 seasons under Hewitt.
Georgia Tech went 2-14 in the conference last season, but Hewitt is hoping his three starting freshmen, Favors, Udofia, Oliver and Glen Rice Jr., can help turn the school’s fortunes.
“They’re good players,” Hewitt said. ”
Florida State, coming off a 10-6 ACC record last season, took its fourth straight victory in the series.