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Georgia Tech blows lead, recovers to beat Hawaii

georgia-tech-blows-lead,-recovers-to-beat-hawaii

Baye Ndongo posted 22 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out and Georgia Tech recovered after coughing up a big lead to beat host and defending champion Hawaii 73-68 in Friday’s second semifinal at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.

Georgia Tech (8-3) led for all but 46 seconds after it scored the game’s first six points and built a 16-point lead by halftime. The Yellow Jackets pushed the advantage to 21 points early in the second half before the Rainbow Warriors stormed back.

Hawaii (8-3) went on a 28-6 run that spanned almost 12 minutes and gave it a 59-58 lead.

The advantage was fleeting, however, as back-to-back baskets by Ndongo gave Georgia Tech a lead it never again relinquished, although the Rainbow Warriors stayed within six points the rest of the way.

Jovon McClanahan led Hawaii with 19 points and eight assists, and Bernando Da Silva added 17 points, 12 in the second half. Justin McKoy finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Georgia Tech answered each Rainbow Warriors rally attempt late. Ndongo scored 8-of-9 Yellow Jackets points during one critical stretch. Miles Kelly, who finished with 14 points, notched Georgia Tech’s final six points to close out the win.

Naithan George added another 14 points for the Yellow Jackets, while Tafara Gapare posted nine points and seven rebounds.

The Yellow Jackets shot 46 percent (29-of-63) from the floor to Hawaii’s 37.9 percent (22-of-58). Ndongo went 10-of-12 from the floor.

The two teams combined to commit just 13 turnovers: nine by Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech capitalized on a 46-28 rebounding edge, scoring 19 second-chance points to Hawaii’s 10.

The Yellow Jackets advance to face Nevada for the tournament championship on Sunday. Hawaii takes on TCU in Sunday’s third-place game.

–Field Level Media

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