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Causey clutch in OT

POSTED: February 8, 2008 5:04 a.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Matt Causey expects to one day be able to sit in his house, turn on the television and watch Sean Singletary playing in the NBA.

The thought made what Causey did Sunday all the more special. He scored 12 of his 18 points in overtime and hit two key 3-pointers as Georgia Tech won its second consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference road game, 92-82 against reeling Virginia.

"You’re going to be seeing him play in the NBA one day," Causey said of Virginia’s point guard. "It’s fun to go at people like that and see how good your basketball is."

It was plenty good against the Cavaliers.

Causey scored nine straight points at one point in the extra period, hitting a 3-pointer, driving around Singletary for a layup, adding a long 3-pointer over him from right in front of his bench and a free throw for the Yellow Jackets (10-9, 3-3).

The long 3 gave the Yellow Jackets and 86-79 edge with 52 seconds to play.

"It was deep, but the shot clock was running down so I was permitted to take it and coach couldn’t say anything," Causey said, adding that his performance was more gratifying than one earlier in the month when he scored 30 against Virginia Tech.

"This was a road win, and that was a home game," he said.

Virginia (11-7, 1-4), co-champions of the league last season, lost for the fifth time in six games and for the second time in the conference at home. Last season, the Cavaliers did not lose an ACC home game in sharing the title with North Carolina.

In recent losses, a common thread has emerged that sees Virginia take a first half lead, then see the opponent whittle it away against relaxed defensive intensity.

Coach Dave Leitao challenged his team at halftime to not let it happen again, but "they did what I thought we were going to go," he said of the Yellow Jackets.

"We came out with dead bodies and dead minds."

Gani Lawal added 15 points, Lewis Clinch 14 and Zack Peacock 12 for Georgia Tech, which shot nearly 52 percent in the second half and 51 percent for the game.

Calvin Baker and Mamadi Diane scored 16 each to lead Virginia, while Singletary had 11 but missed 14 of his 19 shots. Jamil Tucker and Adrian Joseph each added 13.

"Right now, Sean is not Sean," Leitao said. "But he played a lot of minutes and there’s a lot of pressure on him to do a lot of things for us. The times that he may have took a deep breath were the times that Causey made him pay for it."

After a nail-biter regulation, the extra period was all Causey, who took over the game after Jeremis Smith gave Georgia Tech a 78-76 lead and Singletary tied it.

As Causey got hot for Georgia Tech, Virginia kept missing 3-pointers. The Cavaliers made 9 of 18 3s in the first half, but only 3 of 18 the remaining 25 minutes.

The victory, following a win at North Carolina State on Wednesday night, gave the Yellow Jackets a hopeful start to a stretch that includes three more road games in the next four. That brutal streak includes a visit to Connecticut on Feb. 9.

Peacock’s basket and Causey’s layup off a turnover gave the Yellow Jackets a 70-69 lead with 4 minutes left in regulation, and Causey’s backdoor layup made it 72-69.

Diane’s 3-pointer from the top of the key tied it with 3:11 to play, and it was tied again when Georgia Tech intercepted a handoff from Baker to Singletary and Peacock got loose for a breakaway dunk with 10.4 seconds left.

Singletary then drove into the lane and threw up a reverse that arched high and then dropped to tie it again.

Causey’s 40-footer at the buzzer rattled in and out, forcing overtime.

Playing point guard because starter Maurice Miller had injured his ankle in the second half, Causey didn’t let his second opportunity to be the hero pass.

Virginia made nine 3-pointers in the first half, two during a 10-0 run that gave it a 24-13 lead. The Cavs led the rest of the half, building their margin as high as 13 before Lance Storrs’ 3-pointer 36 seconds before halftime made it 48-38 at the break.


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