ATLANTA (AP) – Having had eight days off because of semester exams, Georgia Tech was a little rusty. Kennesaw State, though, had been off even longer.
Robert Carter Jr. recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 74-57 victory over visiting Kennesaw State on Monday night.
Trae Golden had 15 points and four assists for the Yellow Jackets (8-3), while Daniel Miller finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
“It was over a week, so we were anxious,” Golden said. “It was good we got back in the flow.”
Tech hadn’t played since Dec. 7, but Kennesaw had been off since Dec. 1 for exams.
“I thought for about 32 minutes out there we did and very good job, but you’ve got to play all 40 minutes,” Kennesaw coach Lewis Preston said.
Andrew Osemhen, averaging just 3.1 points, came off the bench to lead Kennesaw (3-8) with 13 points, 10 coming in the first half. Orlando Coleman scored 12 for the Owls.
Kennesaw cut a 16-point second-half deficit down to seven with four minutes left on a 3-point play by Yunel Brown, but Tech outscored the Owls 15-5 the rest of the way.
It was the first time that Tech and Kennesaw, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, had played since the Owls stunned the Yellow Jackets on Nov. 15, 2010. Tech had easily won two previous meetings.
Tech, down by three points in the first half, went on a 13-0 streak and led 38-26 at intermission as Kennesaw made just one basket in the final six minutes. Golden had eight of his 10 first-half point in the run.
“I tried to make some plays and get some energy going,” Golden said.
“I thought the last eight minutes of the first half we played very, very well,” Tech coach Brian Gregory said. “And that, to be honest with you, ended up being the difference in the game.”
Kennesaw shot just 38 percent from the floor and was 13-for-28 from the foul line. Tech shot 46 percent and made 18 of 29 free throws.
“You can’t leave 15 free throws on the road and expect to win,” said Preston, who also bemoaned his team’s poor shooting overall. “We missed wide open shots and we missed quite of few of them.”
Neither team made a 3-pointer in the first half, combining to go 0-for-12. Tech finished 2-for-11 and Kennesaw 2-for-16.
Kennesaw’s Bernard Morena suffered a head injury after a collision and a fall early in the second half and didn’t return. Morena was being evaluated for a possible concussion. He averages 9.6 points, but scored just two.
Jason Morris, coming back from foot surgery, played in his first game this season for Tech, but didn’t score in four minutes of action.
“I thought we did some things well, but we weren’t as consistent as I would like to be,” Gregory said.
Tech will play at Vanderbilt on Saturday and at Charlotte on Dec. 29 before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play on Jan. 4 at Maryland.