Georgia Tech falls at home to Gardner-Webb

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Monday, Dec. 17, 2018

ATLANTA (AP) -- DJ Laster scored 20 of his career high-tying 25 points in the first half, and Gardner-Webb shot nearly as well as it had all season on Monday night in a 79-69 win at Georgia Tech.

The Runnin' Bulldogs (8-5) stunned Georgia Tech (5-4) with a pair of baskets in the final four seconds of the first half on the way to a 45-38 lead and then pushed the lead to 13 points in the second half before holding off Georgia Tech in McCamish Pavilion.

Laster, a senior forward, also had nine rebounds, and David Efianayi and David Perez scored 12 points each, as Gardner-Webb made 31 of 59 shots (52.5 percent). That came close to the 54.5 percent mark they had in a 97-77 win at Savannah State on Nov. 16.

Junior center James Banks III scored a career-high 22 points for Georgia Tech while grabbing 12 rebounds, and sophomore guard Josh Alvarado added 19 points for the Yellow Jackets.

Gardner-Webb carried the action for much of the first half with the exception of a stretch where Curtis Haywood II made four 3-pointers shots in a 14-2 run for Tech. The Yellow Jackets took their biggest lead at 31-27 on his long ball with 5:54 to go before intermission. Haywood scored all 12 of his points in the first half.

The Runnin' Bulldogs rallied back with Laster in the middle of most of it. He scored 10 points as Gardner-Webb closed the first half with a 12-5 run.

After Efianayi made a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining, Gardner-Webb pressured Tech, and Nate Johnson stole the inbounds pass by Banks, passed to Efianayi, who passed to Laster for a layup right before the buzzer.

Gardner-Webb shot 60 percent in the first half (18 of 30), and Georgia Tech in the second half missed all 11 shots from 3-point range and finished 6 of 23 from distance.