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Georgia Tech blows out poor-shooting Northern Illinois

Sportsnaut
Mar 2, 2022; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Josh Pastner gestures during the first half against the Clemson Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Ja’Von Franklin had a double-double and Georgia Tech beat visiting Northern Illinois 68-50 on Thursday in Atlanta, giving the Yellow Jackets their first 3-0 start in coach Josh Pastner’s seven seasons.

Franklin tallied 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots — all bests since the graduate transfer from South Alabama joined the program this season. It was his first double-double with the Yellow Jackets and the ninth of his career.

Miles Kelly scored 13 points, despite going 1-for-7 on 3-pointers — his sixth straight game with double figures. Dallan “Deebo” Coleman scored 12 points with six rebounds. Deivon Smith added 11 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots.

Northern Illinois (1-3) was led by Zarique Nutter, who put up 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. David Coit added 10 points and Xavier Amos had eight rebounds.

Georgia Tech limited Northern Illinois to 26.9 percent shooting, and the Huskies also hit just 9 of 21 free throws.

Georgia Tech took control early thanks to a couple of impressive runs in the first half. A 15-0 spurt, which included five points each from Kyle Sturdivant and Kelly, stretched the team to 40-8 with 6:58 left.

That was followed minutes later by a 13-2 run capped by Jalon Moore’s layup that gave Georgia Tech a 41-15 lead. The Yellow Jackets held a 43-20 lead at the half.

Northern Illinois made its first seven field goals of the second half and outscored Georgia Tech 17-1, cutting the deficit to seven on a 3-pointer by Coit. But the Yellow Jackets doused any comeback hopes for the Huskies by scoring nine straight to re-establish a 16-point lead.

The game was the first between the two schools and Tech improved to 3-4 against teams from the Mid-American Conference.

Both teams head to Fort Myers, Fla., for the Rocket Mortgage Tip-Off. Georgia Tech will play Utah. Northern Illinois, in the second of eight straight road games, will play Sam Houston.