ATLANTA (AP) – Jarron Coleman scored 10 of his 17 points in the first half and Ball State dominated Georgia Tech in every way in a 65-47 victory over the Yellow Jackets on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals (6-4) were not especially sharp while turning the ball over 20 times, but the Yellow Jackets (4-5) had 23 turnovers of their own while losing their third straight game.
Senior center James Banks III led the Jackets with 13 points and nine rebounds before a sparse crowd in McCamish Pavilion. In the first half, the Yellow Jackets had 16 turnovers in 34 possessions and made just 5 of 22 shots.
Ball State built a 31-15 halftime lead on 12-of-24 shooting and might have created a bigger advantage had they not turned the ball over 11 times. Ball State’s Kyle Mallers had 11 points and seven rebounds in the half.
Georgia Tech pulled within 41-29 on a layup by Banks with 11:18 left in the game but the Cardinals went on to lead by as many as 30 points.
Tech deployed full-court pressure most of the second half, but Ball State was steady and cruised to its first victory over a team from a power five conference as Tahjai Teague pitched in seven of his nine points in the second half. The Cardinals finished 10-of-23 from beyond the 3-point line.
Ball State: Coleman has caught fire for the Cardinals. The redshirt freshman guard from Indianapolis averaged 5.7 points over the first six games, and in back-to-back games has scored 20 points against IUPUI and 17 at Tech. He made 7-of-10 shots against Georgia Tech, including 3 of 4 3-pointers.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets are in a deep rut, and their leading players are right in the middle of the mess. Devoe averaged 23.8 points over Tech’s first six games, but the sophomore guard has has scored seven, five and 11 points against Syracuse, Kentucky and Ball State. He’s made just 8 of 37 shots in that span after hitting 59% before that. . . . Jordan Usher’s debut for the Jackets was a disaster. The junior swingman from nearby Canton, Georgia, who transferred a year ago from Southern California, started in place of transfer guard Bubba Parham, who has been starting in place of injured junior point guard Jose Alvarado. Usher committed five turnovers and picked up three fouls in less than eight minutes in the first half. He was called for his fourth foul about four minutes into the second half and finished with four points on 1-of-7 shooting.
Ball State: The Cardinals next play Washington, Sunday, in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets will play Boise State Sunday, also in the Diamond Head Classic.