Feb. 2, 2005
By TOM SALADINO
ATLANTA - Even though the winning play was set up for Jarrett Jack, Will Bynum was an option and he made it count.
Bynum made up for a poor first half by hitting a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left to give No. 25 Georgia Tech a 64-61 victory over Florida State on Wednesday night.
"It was up to Jarrett whether he was to pass or not. It was a pick-and-roll. He decided to give it to me," said Bynum, who had the go-ahead basket in three NCAA tournament wins last season, when the Yellow Jackets lost in the final to Connecticut.
"I had no hesitation. There are times when you're in the gym when you're growing up, that's what brings you there," the senior guard said.
Bynum, who shot 1-of-8 in the opening half, hit the game-winner after Florida State made up a 12-point deficit by going on a 19-7 run to tie it at 61 on a 3-pointer by Von Wafer with 1:29 remaining.
Georgia Tech (13-6, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), which only last month was ranked No. 8, needed the win badly after losing four of its last five games.
"I put the ball in Jarrett's hands and he came off the screen and he had options," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said. "Obviously, Will was one of the top three options. Jarrett made a great decision, and Will made the shot."
The Seminoles (11-10, 3-5) had a chance to go ahead with 35.5 seconds left, but Diego Romero missed a pair of free throws. Georgia Tech called timeout with 16.3 seconds remaining to set up Bynum's winning basket.
"Almost isn't good enough," Florida State guard Todd Galloway said. "It doesn't mean anything if you don't pull it off."
Bynum finished with 19 points. He quickly made up for his first-half woes by scoring 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting during a 15-7 run to give the Yellow Jackets a 42-40 lead just 4:30 into the second.
The rest of the Yellow Jackets then took over. Luke Schenscher scored six points and Mario West five during a 27-9 run for a 54-42 lead with 9:55 to go.
The Seminoles, however, weren't done, allowing only seven points in the final nine minutes until Bynum's big basket.
"We understood we were down and had to pick up our intensity," Galloway said. "We weren't going to let them get any easy baskets."
Bynum finished 7-of-18, including 3-for-8 on 3s. Schenscher and West each added 10 points.
Florida State took a 33-27 lead on a 3-pointer by Jason Rich as time ran out in the first half.
The Seminoles got off to a quick start, leading 18-10 with 9:13 gone on a 3 by leading scorer Wafer, who had eight first-half points and finished with 18.
Romero was the only other Florida State player in double figures, scoring 10.
Georgia Tech, however, went on an 11-2 run capped by a 15-foot jumper from Anthony McHenry to claim its first lead of the game at 21-20 with 7:02 left before halftime.
Florida State won two of its previous three games, including a 91-83 overtime win over then-No. 5 Wake Forest. The Seminoles snapped a 26-game ACC road losing streak in their last game, a 70-64 win at North Carolina State last Wednesday.