ATLANTA — Georgia Tech broke out of a two-game slump in a big way Tuesday, when Robert Carter Jr. tied a season high with 13 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 76-59 win over Mississippi Valley State.
The sophomore forward wasn't the only Jacket to bully the Delta Devils. Tech (5-1) outscored the smaller SWAC squad 30-0 in the paint in the first half on the way to a 41-14 lead. MVSU (1-5) in the first 20 minutes hit four 3-point shots and two free throws but missed all 18 of its two-point shots.
Tech lost 82-72 at home to Dayton six days earlier, and on Sunday trailed North Carolina A&T by 11 points seven minutes into the second half before winning 78-71.
Tuesday, the Jackets did not wait to step on the gas. A 27-2 run in the first half blew open the game.
"I feel in order for us to be a good team, we've got to get rebounds," said the 6-foot-8 Carter, who is averaging nine points and 9.7 rebounds. "I think we kind of thought we were better than we are. I think Dayton beating us kind of put us back in our place a little bit."
Tech's Trae Golden and freshman reserve swingman Quinton Stephens added 10 points each, and center Daniel Miller had eight points and 12 rebounds. Anthony McDonald led MVSU with 17 points, including three of the 11 3-pointers made by his team.
The first half turned ugly after just a few minutes.
MVSU's DeAngelo Priar, who scored 14, tied the game at 6 with a 3-point shot with 14:53 remaining, but the Delta Devils did not score another field goal for more than 12 minutes. By the time McDonald hit trey for MSVU with 2:32 left in the half, it merely cut the Yellow Jackets' lead to 33-11.
Tech was not only playing over and through the Delta Devils, but running past them. In their 27-2 first-half run, the Jackets scored eight layups and had a 14-0 edge in fastbreak points in the first 20 minutes.
"First half, that's the worst I've seen my guys play," said second-year Delta Devils coach Chico Potts. "I told them at halftime, 'I don't know who you are.' We were 4-for-31; that ain't ever happened."
Priar and McDonald were the only two players to score from the field for MVSU in the first half, when nine of their teammates attempted shots but failed to score.
As the Delta Devils went scoreless from the field during Tech's 27-2 run, eight different Yellow Jackets scored. Senior post men Kam Holsey and Miller led the way during that stretch with six points each.
The Jackets expanded their lead to 35 at 66-31 on a 3-pointer by Chris Bolden with 9:29 left in the game. Soon after that, Gregory played almost all subs. Several were rarely-used players, and MVSU closed with a 28-10 streak to make the score more respectable.
MVSU made 11-of-29 3-pointers in the game, and redshirt freshman guard Jordan Washington added 16 points off the bench, including four treys all in the second half.
The difference, however, came in the work of the big fellas. Tech outscored MVSU 44-14 in the paint, and had a huge advantage on the boards (49-28). Carter gathered his 15 rebounds in just 20 minutes, and snatched 10 in 12 first-half minutes.