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Virginia defeats Georgia Tech in overtime
Virginia guard Mustapha Farrakhan, center, drives to the basket against Georgia Tech forward Gani Lawal, left, and guard Lewis Clinch in the first half in Atlanta on Sunday. - photo by By Erik S. Lesser

ATLANTA — Virginia coach Dave Leitao thought he may have seen a chink in Georgia Tech's game — free-throw shooting — and he was right.

Calvin Baker scored with 10 seconds remaining in overtime to break a tie at 84-all and help Virginia to an 88-84 victory over Georgia Tech on Sunday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.

Mike Scott added two free throws with 2 seconds left for Virginia (6-4, 1-0 ACC).

The Yellow Jackets, however, could have won the game if they had converted free throws. Tech made only 16 of 33 (48.5 percent). Virginia, meanwhile, hit on 17 of 22 (77 percent).

"We felt that was one area we could take advantage of," said Leitao, adding that down the stretch, "We tried to get them to the line."

"Obviously, free throw shooting was a problem," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "We let one get away tonight. We had the lead at 72-69 and missed a couple of free throws that really could have given us the win."

He was referring to a pair of missed free throws by freshman Iman Shumpert with 36 seconds left in regulation.

Georgia Tech's Gani Lawal stole a pass and scored with 15 seconds left to tie it at 84 in overtime.

Sylven Landesberg led Virginia with 26 points. Jamil Tucker added 15, Baker had 13 and Mustapha Farrakhan had a season-high 12 off the bench.

"They made some runs, we made some runs and the last two minutes before overtime, with the game hanging in the balance, some of our guys stepped up," Leitao said. "To finish it off in overtime was huge."

Lawal led the Yellow Jackets (7-4, 0-1) with 21 points. Lewis Clinch and Shumpert added 18 points each and Alade Aminu had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Georgia Tech.

Tucker hit a 3-point basket for Virginia with 14.7 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 74. Georgia Tech's Shumpert missed a 15-foot jumper with 2 seconds remaining to send it to overtime.

"We wanted the ball in his hands," Hewitt said. "We thought he could get a good shot and he did. It was on the rim."

Clinch hit a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left in regulation for a 72-69 Georgia Tech lead. After a basket by Landesberg, Clinch added two free throws for a 74-71 lead with 26 seconds left.

The Yellow Jackets fell to 2-7 in ACC openers under Hewitt.

Virginia had lost 12 of its previous 13 ACC openers before Sunday.

Georgia Tech took its first lead at 46-44 on a 3-point basket by Clinch, capping a 9-0 run to open the second half for the Yellow Jackets, who trailed 44-37 at intermission. Sammy Zeglinski got the lead back for Virginia on its next possession at 47-46 on a 3-point basket.

The Yellow Jackets took their biggest lead at 59-54 with 10:35 left as Lawal scored five points to break a tie at 54. Virginia, however, came back to tie it at 59 on a 3-pointer by Zeglinski.

Landesberg scored 14 points and Farrakhan added 10 points in leading Virginia to its halftime margin. Lawal had 13 points for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets never led in the opening 20 minutes, but tied it twice at 24 and 30. Virginia led by as many as 11 points at 17-6.

Georgia Tech could have been much closer at intermission, but made only 9 of 18 free throws. Clinch was only 1-for-5 and Lawal made 5 of 9. Virginia had already committed 10 fouls with 8:46 left in the half and wound up with 14 by halftime and 28 overall.

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