Midnight for Nevada: Tech ends Cinderella run
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) – Marvin Lewis scored 23 points on 4-of-9
three-point shooting, as Georgia Tech held on without star guard B.J. Elder to
beat a surprising Nevada squad, 72-67, in a St. Louis bracket regional
The third-ranked Yellow Jackets (26-9) lost Elder in the game’s first two
minutes when their leading scorer in the NCAA Tournament left with a sprained
right ankle. But they overcame a halftime deficit to end 10th-ranked Nevada’s
Cinderella run and move on to face Kansas in the round of eight on Sunday.
Lewis was the only double-digit scorer for Georgia Tech.
Kirk Snyder scored 21 points to lead the Wolf Pack (25-9), which earned its
first appearance in the Sweet 16 with a 19-point win over tournament darling
and second seed Gonzaga last weekend.
Nevada had won nine straight games entering this one, including a Western
Athletic Conference title. It also got 13 points from Todd Okeson.
“This is the first time in a long time we’ve been beaten by a good team,”
Nevada head coach Trent Johnson said. “My hat’s off to them.”
The Wolf Pack shot just 7-of-33 (21 percent) in the second half of this one.
By comparison, they hit 42 percent of their shots in the first half on the way
to a 39-34 lead at intermission.
“It wasn’t anything special they were doing,” Okeson said. “We were just
rushing shots more than we needed to.”
Georgia Tech made the regional finals for the first time since 1990, rallying
behind a team effort with eight players scoring at least six points.
The Yellow Jackets shot 50 percent in the second half, and got a highlight-
reel reverse layup from Will Bynum that put them ahead for good with 1:06
remaining in the game.
Lewis then made 1-of-2 at the foul line to put the Yellow Jackets in front
70-67 with 48.9 seconds left, and Georgia Tech center Luke Schenscher came up
big with a block in the lane at the other end.
Georgia Tech got its last two points on free throws from Clarence Moore, who
went 1-of-2 on consecutive trips to the line. Both visits were followed by
three-point misses from the Wolf Pack; Okeson missed the first try, and Snyder
missed the second.
Snyder was just 2-of-12 in the second half, a good reason that Nevada couldn’t
maintain its halftime advantage. The Wolf Pack led by seven early in the
second half, but Georgia Tech used an 11-2 run to gain a 47-45 edge.
The Yellow Jackets took several five-point leads later on, but Nevada rallied
to tie it at 67 on Snyder’s bucket with 2:08 remaining.
Bynum’s big play under the basket at the other end then gave Georgia Tech the
lead for good.
The final score was a 13-point turnaround from the Yellow Jackets’ largest
deficit of the first half. Nevada led by as many as eight points before the
break when Okeson’s three-pointer made it 30-22 inside the 5:00 mark.
Georgia Tech shot just 37 percent in the first half.