UNLV slips past Georgia Tech and into second round
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Wendell White poured in 19 points and grabbed
eight rebounds as UNLV slipped past Georgia Tech, 67-63, in the first round of
the NCAA Tournament.
Michael Umeh also scored 19 points, including 4-of-8 from three-point range,
for the Mountain West Conference champion Runnin’ Rebels (29-6), who won
their first tournament game since 1991. Wink Adams added 13 points for UNLV,
which has won eight in a row.
“It very obviously was a really hard-fought game,” said UNLV coach Lon Kruger.
“I thought both teams really, really competed. I’m proud of my guys making
plays down the stretch to get a win. It was a very good win.”
Anthony Morrow posted 11 points with six boards and Alade Aminu chipped in 11
and pulled down five rebounds for the 10th-seeded Yellow Jackets (20-12).
“I think we played extremely hard today,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said.
“They just out-hustled us for a lot of rebounds today.”
UNLV will face second-seeded Wisconsin in the second round on Sunday.
The Runnin’ Rebels got out to a quick 11-3 lead before Georgia Tech cut it to
three on Mario West’s dunk. UNLV then went on an 11-2 spurt — led by seven
points from Adams — for a 22-10 edge with 7:51 left in the first half.
Minutes later, UNLV’s lead ballooned to 14 when White dunked, and Umeh capped
the frame by draining a pair from the line to put the Runnin’ Rebels up 33-26
at the break.
UNLV shot just 30.8 percent in the first half, but finished 41 percent from
the floor in the game.
Georgia Tech came out strong in the second half, scoring 14 of the first 21
points, and tied the game at 40 on Morrow’s three-pointer. Each team traded
buckets for the next few minutes before the Runnin’ Rebels went on a 9-2 spurt
for a 55-48 edge with 7:02 to play.
The Yellow Jackets then took their first lead of the game, 58-57, when Morrow
converted twice from the charity stripe. White, though, responded with a
layup, but Jeremis Smith made it a 59-59 affair with a free throw.
However, another layup by White and two free throws by Umeh with 23.5 seconds
remaining gave UNLV a 65-61 lead to ice the game.
Both teams shot 27 percent from three-point range…Javaris Crittenton,
Thaddeus Young and West ended with eight points for the Yellow Jackets…The
game marked the first meeting between the two schools since the 1990 national
semifinal, which UNLV won with a 90-81 victory…Georgia Tech dropped to 22-15
in tournament play.