Kelly’s drive gives Ga Tech 59-57 win at new Ga State arena

Sports

ATLANTA (AP) — Miles Kelly scored on a drive with 4.1 seconds left and Georgia Tech defeated Georgia State 59-57 on Saturday night to ruin the christening of their city rival’s new arena.

The Panthers (1-1) began the season with a 17-point win over NAIA school Coastal Georgia, but this was the de facto opening game of the new 7,500-seat Georgia State Convocation Center.

It was certainly the contest that first-year coach Jonas Hayes and his rebuilding squad had been pointing to throughout the offseason.

But Kelly and the Yellow Jackets (2-0) spoiled the occasion.

Georgia State wiped out an eight-point deficit with under 3 minutes left, tying the game on Brenden Tucker’s three-point play with 26 seconds remaining.

After a timeout, Georgia Tech put the ball in Kelly’s hands. Isolating at the top of the key as the clock wound down, he burst toward the hoop and banked in a shot that won it for the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia State failed to get off a shot on its final possession, fumbling the ball away in a fitting end to a sloppy performance by both teams, filled with turnovers, air balls and erratic passes.

Kelly finished with 15 points, also knocking down a couple of big 3-pointers in a 19-5 run that seemed to put Georgia Tech in control. Dallan Coleman led the Yellow Jackets with 16 points.

Ja’Heim Hudson paced Georgia State with 23 points.

The Atlanta schools, located less than three miles apart, split a pair of overtime games the last two years at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion, just up the Downtown Connector.

Despite their proximity, the Yellow Jackets were playing at Georgia State for only the third time in 22 meetings between the teams.

One of those road games came in 1973, when Georgia Tech helped break in a then-new GSU Sports Arena, the Panthers’ previous home.

Georgia Tech has dominated the series, improving to 19-3 against the Panthers.

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