Ga Tech fades in 75-62 loss to No. 22 Illinois

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 29, 2012
Georgia Tech still needs to learn how to finish. Reserve guard Joseph Bertrand hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions and scored every point in a 10-0 run Wednesday night that rallied No. 22 Illinois to a 75-62 victory over the Yellow Jackets in an ACC-Big Ten Challenge game. Before the second-half scoring spurt by Bertrand, Georgia Tech held a 58-54 lead. ''Unfortunately for 33 minutes, that was a heck of a game,'' Yellow Jackets coach Brian Gregory said. ''We didn't play very well at the end. Very similar to our other loss against Cal. We're just not quite tough enough at the end.'' Illinois (8-0) took control late thanks to Bertrand's one-man show. The Illini finished the game on a 21-4 run over the final 7:15. ''Until you get to know him, Joe sometimes comes off like a quiet guy, but he's got some big-time energy,'' Illinois coach John Groce said. ''I very rarely will watch practice film or game film and say, `Bertrand isn't playing hard.''' Bertrand scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half as the surprising Illini kept up their early-season run. After missing his first season with a knee injury, the redshirt junior relied upon his athleticism to get to the basket and create scoring opportunities for himself the last two years. By concentrating on his perimeter game during individual practice sessions over the summer, he's become tougher to guard. ''It's really helped my confidence,'' Bertrand said. ''I'm looking to shoot them more this year. I was driving more last year. I'm looking to do both.'' Bertrand was 6 for 8 from the floor while going 3 of 4 behind the 3-point line. ''He brings a lot of energy off the bench,'' Gregory said. ''He's a great athlete. He's just streaky enough to be dangerous.'' Illinois guard Brandon Paul also scored 15 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists. Tyler Griffey and D.J. Richardson had 14 points apiece. After losing 12 of its last 14 games last season, Illinois is off to a strong start under Groce, who became the only coach since World War II to start his Illini career with eight straight wins. ''If you'd have said, `Hey, would you predict 8-0?' I wouldn't have been bold enough to do that,'' Groce said. Kammeon Holsey led Georgia Tech (4-2) with 14 points while Jason Morris and Mfon Udofia scored 10 apiece. The Yellow Jackets appeared to grab control with a 12-3 run midway through the second half for a 54-50 lead before wilting down the stretch. Illinois entered the week as the nation's leading 3-point shooting team, making an average of 10.9 per game. The Illini quickly found themselves in a long-distance shooting contest with Georgia Tech. The teams combined to make 6 of 10 from the 3-point line to start the game. But the Illini kept it up, finishing with a season-high 14 3-pointers, one short of the Assembly Hall single-game record. Meanwhile, the Illini also used a 2-3 zone defense for long stretches, something not seen from Illinois in years, but relied on man-to-man defense most of the game. ''Our defense ignited our offense during that 21-4 run,'' Groce said. ''When we defend like that and get some stops, we can put points on the board in a hurry. That's what happened to end the game.'' Illinois has a 31-game nonconference winning streak in regular-season games at Assembly Hall. A loss to Dayton in 2011, when Gregory was coaching the Flyers, came in the NIT. Illinois, which relied upon 3-point shooting in its biggest wins this season, used 3-pointers from Richardson and Griffey during an 8-2 run to start the second half for a 44-37 lead. Georgia Tech rallied with two 3-pointers from guard Chris Bolden and a breakaway dunk by Morris for a 54-50 lead with 10:16 left. Georgia Tech was finishing an eight-day trip that took the team to California. After placing third in the DirecTV Classic in Anaheim, the Yellow Jackets were 7 of 10 from the field to grab a 21-15 lead. The lead changed hands six times in a back-and-forth first half, when Illinois shot 46.7 percent from the 3-point line while the Yellow Jackets hit 45.5 from behind the arc.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Russell Westbrook gets emotional thanking family in MVP speech

Malcolm Brogdon makes history by beating out Saric, Embiid for Rookie of the Year

Bill Russell delivers epic line after winning NBA lifetime achievement award

Draymond Green ensemble at NBA Awards must be seen to believe

Victor Oladipo gets schooled by young boy at basketball camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall trying to recruit Paul George to join Wizards

Report: Saints looking at ways to recoup guaranteed money owed to Nick Fairley

Martellus Bennett thinks Rodgers is better than Brady?

Fairley expected to miss 2017 season due to heart condition

Cousins could get more than $30 million per year in free agency?

Charlie Sheen puts Babe Ruth trade contract, World Series ring up for auction

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker