Jordan Usher had 15 of his 18 points after halftime and Jose Alvarado contributed 12 of his 14 points in the second half to spark Georgia Tech to a 74-60 win over Boise State in an opening-round game of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu on Sunday.
On Monday, Georgia Tech (5-5) will play Houston (8-3) in a semifinal, while Boise State (6-5) will face Portland (8-5) in the consolation bracket.
Boise State’s Abu Kigab had a team-leading 17 points in his first game with the Broncos after gaining eligibility as a transfer from Oregon last year. Derrick Alston added 16 points and six rebounds.
Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright made all seven of his field goal attempts and finished with 18 points and nine rebounds for Georgia Tech before fouling out with 5:16 left in regulation with the Yellow Jackets leading 60-48.
The Yellow Jackets’ leading scorer this season — Michael Devoe — then fouled out with 4:28 remaining with Georgia Tech leading 62-53. Devoe finished with 13 points. Another Georgia Tech player, Bubba Parham, fouled out with 1:34 left.
Georgia Tech, which snapped a three-game losing streak, was able to overcome the foul trouble by shooting 54.8 percent from the field in the second half and making 11 of 14 free throw attempts after the break.
They also had only six turnovers in the second half after committing 14 in the first half, a reason why they trailed 31-26 at halftime.
Kigab made a 3-pointer to start the second half to put the Broncos ahead 34-26. Georgia Tech answered with six straight points, including two baskets by Devoe.
The Yellow Jackets’ defense heated, forcing Boise State into nine turnovers in the second half.
Georgia Tech went on a 12-0 run to build a 50-41 lead with 10:47 left in regulation. Boise State went scoreless for 4:40. The Broncos went without a field goal for 5:46.
Usher, who early in the run made a 3-pointer, capped the surge with a layup.
The run developed to 20-2 with Georgia Tech taking a 58-43 lead with 8:07 remaining.
—Field Level Media