Post-Game Notes: Georgia Tech 81, Houston 62
Georgia Tech starting lineup: Georges-Hunt, Smith, Stephens, Jacobs, Mitchell
First subs for Georgia Tech: Lammers, White for Jacobs, Mitchell at the 16:37 mark of the first half
On the floor for Georgia Tech at the end: Heath, Heyward, Jackson, Jorgenson, Rowland
Opening tap won by Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech has won the opening tap 21 times in 34 games this season.
Series record vs. Houston: Georgia Tech is 3-0 overall, 1-0 at home, 1-0 at McCamish Pavilion, 1-0 under Brian Gregory, 3-1 vs. Kelvin Sampson
Current series streak: Tech has won the last two games in the series
Georgia Tech is 14-5 at McCamish Pavilion this season, 43-26 in its fourth season in the building, 43-26 under Brian Gregory
Georgia Tech's next game: March 16, 2016, at South Carolina (NIT 2nd round), 9 p.m., Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, S.C.
Georgia Tech advances to a second-round game Monday night at South Carolina, the top seed in the quadrant. The winner of that game will play the winner of San Diego State and Washington in a quarterfinal game to be played Wednesday, March 23. Tech has advanced past the first round of the NIT for the fourth time in eight appearances in the post-season event and is 9-7 all-time in the tournament.
Tonight's win gives Georgia Tech its first 20-win season since 2009-10 and only the fourth since the 1995-96 season. Tech has won 20 games 15 times in program history.
Tech improved to 14-5 at home, percentage-wise its best home record, and its most home wins, in five seasons under Brian Gregory. The Jackets have not had a better home record since going 14-2 in 2009-10.
Tech's 19-point margin of victory was third-largest of the season behind a season-opening 116-81 win over Cornell and a 107-77 win over Green Bay (which is in the NCAA Tournament).
Tech's 19-point margin of victory also was its largest ever in a post-season game, surpassing a 70-53 win over Syracuse in the 1985 NCAA second round and an 87-70 victory over DePaul in the 1991 NCAA first round.
Tech's 81 points marked the eighth time this season the Jackets have scored 80 or more points. Tech scored 80 or more nine times total in Brian Gregory's first four seasons on the Flats.
Tech's 81 points also marked its highest output in a post-season game since an 88-78 win over Seton Hall in the opening round of the 1998 NIT.
Tech led 41-32 at the half, the 20th time in 34 games this season the Yellow Jackets have led at the half, and is now 14-6 when leading at intermission.
Houston came into the game averaging 77.9 points, shooting 46.7 percent from the floor and averaging 6.9 threes per game. Tonight, Tech held the Cougars to 62 points, 43.1-percent shooting from the floor and two three-point baskets.
Houston came into the game ranked sixth in the nation in three-point percentage defense (29.8 pct.); Tech went 8-for-16 from three-point range.
Three Tech players reached double digits by half-time -- Adam Smith with 13, Marcus Georges-Hunt with 12 and Charles Mitchell with 10.
Tech out-rebounded Houston 39-25, the 29th time in 34 games this season the Yellow Jackets have won the battle of the boards. The Jackets improved their season rebound margin to +7.4, which would eclipse last year's school-record pace of +7.3.
Tech took 13 offensive rebounds for 16 second-chance points (to Houston's seven) and out-scored Houston in the paint 34-22.
Tech dished 19 assists, the Jackets' third-highest total of the season (30 vs. Cornell, 23 vs. Green Bay) , on 32 field goals made against just 11 turnovers.
Tech went 9-for-11 from the free throw line and improved its season rate to 72.1 percent, the best rate for any Tech team since 1972-73 (73.1).
Marcus Georges-Hunt made his 127th career start against Houston, tying the Tech career mark set by Malcolm Mackey (1989-93). He played in the 128th game of his career, second-most all-time and two shy of the Yellow Jacket record of 130 shared by Mackey, Marvin Lewis (2000-04) and Anthony McHenry (2001-05).
Georges-Hunt scored 19 points (7-of-13 FG, 2-6 on threes, 3-4 FT), reaching double figures for the 27th time in 34 games this season, and for the 90th time in 128 career games. He also had five assists, four rebounds, a block and a steal with just two turnovers in 33 minutes.
Adam Smith scored a team-high 20 points, his third 20+ game in the last four and his ninth of the season. He reached double figures for the 28th time in 34 games this season. He went 6-for-12 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the foul line and had four assists in 32 minutes.
Smith went 3-for-6 from three-point range, maintaining his ACC-best seasonal average of 3.06 per game, increasing his season total to 104, the third-most in a season in Tech history. He has made at least one three in 102 of 112 career games.
Charles Mitchell scored 12 points for his first double-digit game since March 1 at Louisville. He reached double figures in points for the 50th time in his career and for the 19th time this season. His 12 field goal attempts (6 made) were his most since going 7-for 12 against Notre Dame on Feb. 20.
Ben Lammers, "The Laminator," had one of his better games of the season, scoring nine points on 4-for-4 shooting with five rebounds and two blocked shots in a season-high 22 minutes.