ATLANTA — Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 20 points and fellow senior Adam Smith added 17 to help Georgia Tech beat Duquesne 73-67 by nearly matching the Dukes 3-pointer for 3-pointer.
The Yellow Jackets (10-3) rallied to avoid an upset as both teams closed their non-conference schedules, with the visiting Dukes (10-3) having one of their best seasons in decades.
Smith accounted for four of the Jackets’ eight made 3-pointers and Georges-Hunt added a pair. That was a big development for a team that was one of the worst in the nation last year from distance.
Duquesne senior guard Micah Mason, one of the best 3-point shooters in NCAA history, hit 5-of-10 from beyond the arc while leading the Dukes with 17 points.
His teammates, however, combined to go just 4 of 18 from distance. The Dukes entered the game averaging 10 makes and 27 3-point tries.
Duquesne charged to a 26-17 lead by making 6 of 9 shots to open the game, but the Jackets got serious on the boards from there.
They finished with a 44-39 rebounding edge. With seven points and 10 rebounds, senior Charles Mitchell missed a double-double for just the second time for Tech.
Sophomore Eric James had 11 points and 11 rebounds in his first start for Duquesne. He replaced senior forward Jeremiah Jones, who tore his ACL in the Dukes’ Dec. 19 win over Robert Morris and is out for the rest of the season.
Smith gave the Jackets the lead for good when he drained a long 3-pointer from in front of the Tech bench with 7:19 left in the game, then added another moments later. Point guard Josh Heath followed with a long ball soon after that.
Duquesne entered the game as one of the nation’s most prolific 3-point shooting teams, while Georgia Tech last season ranked 343rd nationally in 3-point shooting while making just 26.7 percent from distance.
Moments after Mason missed an open long ball late in the game, Georgia Tech’s Ben Lammers gathered the rebound and Georges-Hunt fed Smith in the right corner for his second straight 3-pointer with 6:54 left. Tech led 60-56, and the Dukes hardly threatened after that.
Duquesne made 6 of 9 shots to open the game, and built leads of 7-0 and 9-2. The Dukes peaked when Mason hit a 3-pointer for a 26-17 lead with 10 minutes left in the first half.
From there, the Jackets began playing defense and hitting the boards.
After being outrebounded 16-11 while falling behind by nine points, Tech won 13-5 on the boards from there to halftime, and the Jackets blocked three Duquesne shots in that span.
When Smith hit three free throws with 1:16 remaining in the half, the Jackets had their first lead at 35-33.
Mason hit yet another 3-pointer with 19 seconds left to send the Dukes into halftime with a 36-35 lead.
Duquesne: Point guard Derrick Colter, who led Duquesne in scoring with an 18.6-point average entering the game, was limited to nine points. The 5-foot-11 senior, who has started all 104 games in his Duquesne career, made just 4 of 17 shots and missed all five of his 3-point tries.
Georgia Tech: Senior Nick Jacobs moved back into the starting lineup for the Jackets, and went for 14 points and nine rebounds in place of graduate student James White.
Duquesne will open its Atlantic 10 schedule at home Saturday against conference preseason favorite Dayton.
Georgia Tech opens ACC play Saturday at No. 7/8 North Carolina.