ATLANTA —Georgia basketball made it four in a row over Georgia Tech on Saturday, pulling away for a 70-59 win.
Nicolas Claxton recorded his fifth double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Teshaun Hightower (12), Rayshaun Hammonds (11) and Tyree Crump (10) also hit double figures in scoring for the Bulldogs (7-4).
The Yellow Jackets (6-5) dropped to 5-2 at home with the loss in front of the sold-out crowd at McCamish Pavilion.
The 6-foot-11 Claxton stepped up big in the clutch for Georgia, which never trailed in the game in evening its record to 1-1 in true road contests this season.
Claxton threw down an authoritative follow-up dunk at the 3:26 mark to give the Bulldogs a 53-47 lead, and he followed up with a 3-point shot to make it 56-47 and send many fans to the exits.
Georgia Tech trailed by 10 at halftime but rallied at the start of the second half with a 7-0 run, pulling to 29-26 on Moses Wright’s conventional 3-point play.
The Yellow Jackets had it down to two at 34-32 with 14:47 left on a pair of Jose Alverado free throws.
Georgia held strong, however, as coach Tom Crean expertly turned to his bench.
Amanze Ngumezo answered with a dunk for the Bulldogs, and E’Torrion Wilridge hit a pair of free throws.
A pair of Claxton free throws at the 13:39 mark made it 40-33 and capped a much needed 6-1 run.
The Bulldogs pulled away minutes later when a Claxton tip-in spurred a 6-0 run that pushed the lead to double-digits and triggered Tech coach Josh Pastner to call timeout with his team trailing 46-36 and 8:27 left.
Georgia Tech had one last comeback in it, drawing to within four points with 3:59 left before Claxton took over.
Georgia led by as many as 16 points in the first half before taking a 29-19 lead into the break.
The Bulldogs were without Claxton most of the first half after he picked up his second foul and was pulled form the action at the 16:14 mark with the teams deadlocked 2-2.
Crean re-entered Claxton at the 7:51 mark and Georgia caught fire, his presence appearing to open up the floor as the Bulldogs scored the next five baskets in the midst of a 13-0 run.
A Hammonds’ 3-pointer made it 25-9 at the 3-minute mark, the Bulldogs in position to blow open the game.
Georgia Tech came to life when Wright hit a baseline jumper and followed with a layup in transition after a Hightower turnover.
Two more Bulldogs’ turnovers contributed to an 8-2 run that brought the Yellow Jackets to within 10 on Michael Devoe’s drive in the closing seconds.
UGA won last season’s game in Athens by an 80-59 count, but Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 105-89.
Georgia basketball returns to action at 6 p.m. on Dec. 30 at home against UMass before opening the SEC portion of the schedule at Tennessee on Jan. 5.
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