ATLANTA — First-year Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner saw another positive step in the growth of center Ben Lammers on Sunday afternoon.
Lammers had 12 points and 13 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season and Georgia Tech routed Alcorn State 74-50 Sunday at McCamish Pavilion.
“When I first saw Ben in April when I first got the job and had our first workout, I was like, ‘Man, he’s got some talent but he has a long way to go,’” Pastner said. “To his credit, he’s gotten better and better and better.”
The 6-foot-10 junior was 5-for-7 from the field and had six offensive rebounds and one blocked shot for the Yellow Jackets, who won their second-straight game. Lammers played only 20 minutes and didn’t return to the court for the final 6:39.
“He got after it,” Alcorn coach Montez Robinson said. “He gets his hands on a lot of things.”
Georgia Tech (6-3) had three others in double figures: Josh Okogie with 14 points and three steals, Tadric Jackson with 14 points, and Quinton Stephens with 11 points and eight rebounds.
“Good win, especially coming after finals,” Pastner said. “I know it’s been a long layoff for us, 10 days, but we found a way to get a good win and kind of validated the Virginia Commonwealth win (on Dec. 7).”
Alcorn State (2-7) lost its fifth-straight game. The Braves were led by A.J. Mosby with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and Reginal Johnson with 15 points and five rebounds
“Georgia Tech came out and played well,” Robinson said. “They really got us out of what we wanted to run. They had a great plan for our guys. We tried to battle through it but just could never get over the hump.”
Alcorn State was able to hang around for the early part of the first half because of its 3-point success. The Braves were within 18-12 when Denzel Dulin made a 3-pointer with 11:28 left in the first half.
But Georgia Tech responded with a 12-2 run that included back-to-back dunks from Jackson and Lammers, as well as a three-point play from Okogie. The run gave the Yellow Jackets a 30-14 lead with 6:00 left in the half.
Georgia Tech led 39-22 at the half. Alcorn stayed close because of its 3-point success, hitting 6 of 7, and because itscored 11 points off seven Georgia Tech turnovers.
“Defensively they hit those 3s in the first half but we did force them into 21 turnovers,” Pastner said. “We’ve still got some things to work on.”
Georgia Tech: Freshman Josh Okogie scored a career-low three points in his last game, but equaled that by making a three-point play on the first possession of the game. He finished with 14.
Alcorn State: Leading scorer Reginal Johnson didn’t score his first basket until the 16:31 mark of the second half. He was denied the ball by the Georgia Tech defense and didn’t take a shot in the first half. He finished with 15.
Georgia Tech’s state goal is to make more free throws than its opponent tries. The Yellow Jackets made 20-of-27, with Alcorn attempting just 15 and making 11.
Alcorn State had five Georgians on its roster. Robinson said the group may have been somewhat overeager to play atGeorgia Tech. Of the quintet, Cartersville native Mosby led the Braves with 16 points.
HITTING THE GLASS
Georgia Tech outrebounded Alcorn State 46-31. It was the sixth time the Yellow Jackets have beaten the opposition on the glass. It was the biggest margin, two more than their previous best against Tulane on Nov. 26.
Georgia Tech plays again at home on Tuesday against state-rival Georgia.
Alcorn State is at Grand Canyon on Tuesday.