Devoe's late score pushes Georgia Tech past Bethune-Cookman
ATLANTA (AP) -- Michael Devoe scored 17 of his game-high 27 points in the second half, including a three-point play with seven seconds left, and Georgia Tech survived terrible free throw shooting Sunday night to hold on for a 68-65 win over Bethune-Cookman.
The Yellow Jackets (3-2) were listless early and made just 9-of-19 free throws in the second half. Bethune-Cookman's Cletrell Pope posted his 29th career double-double with 20 points and 19 rebounds and the Wildcats (5-3) nearly pulled off what would have been one of the biggest upsets since the program transitioned to Division I in 1980.
Bethune-Cookman led 36-34 at halftime, and the teams traded the lead several times through the second half before Devoe's critical score.
Pope tied the game for the final time with 31 seconds left when he grabbed an offensive rebound off a Malik Maitland miss and dunked in one motion.
After a time out, the Jackets ran clock before Devoe drove the left side and banked in a short shot. Pope fouled out on the play, and Devoe made the free throw shot to close the scoring.
A 3-point shot by Bethune-Cookman's Leon Reed bounced high off the rim as time expired.
Moses Wright had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Georgia Tech, and James Banks III added 12 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high eight blocked shots. Isaiah Bailey scored 14 for the Wildcats.
Bethune-Cookman controlled early action, moving to a 20-10 lead on Bailey's 3-point shot from the top with 10:30 left in the first half as the Wildcats were hardly puzzled by Tech's 1-3-1 zone defense. That basket came off a pass from Maitland following on offensive rebound. Bailey scored 11 in the first half.
Bethune-Cookman: The Wildcats out-rebounded Tech 40-32 but couldn't carry their hot shooting from the first half to the second, when they made just 11-of-38 shots after dropping 15-of-30 before intermission.
Georgia Tech: The Jackets were out of sorts early, and that probably had to do with the fact that junior point guard Jose Alvarado missed his third straight game with a severely sprained ankle, and senior center James Banks III -- a defense/rebounding specialist -- did not start for reasons undisclosed to prior tip. Banks first entered the game with 13:44 left in the first half and in the second half had 10 points, seven rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Bethune-Cookman: The Wildcats will play the fifth of eight consecutive games away from home on Tuesday night at Stetson.
Georgia Tech: The Jackets will play host to Nebraska on Wednesday as part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.