2003 NIT 2003 NIT
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Updated: Wednesday, March 19, 2003 11:20 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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Georgia Tech 72, Ohio St 58
OHIO ST. BUCKEYES
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GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS
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ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Paul Hewitt was delighted to get an invitation to the National Invitation Tournament with a .500 record to give his youthful squad postseason experience. Freshman Chris Bosh sure appeared excited with the opportunity.

Bosh scored 18 points and blocked four shots to lead Georgia Tech to a 72-58 victory over Ohio State in the first round of the NIT.

Georgia Tech (15-14) is one of three Atlantic Coast Conference schools to advance, joining North Carolina and Virginia.

The Yellow Jackets will face the winner of the game between Iowa and Iowa State in the second round.

"We're learning," Hewitt said. "I compare us to the group I was with at Villanova in 1994 with Kerry Kittles as a sophomore and Alvin Williams and Jason Lawson as freshmen. They used the NIT to really springboard the following year."

Ohio State (17-15), which lost to Illinois, 72-59, in the Big Ten Conference title game on Sunday, had won eight straight against Georgia Tech although the schools last met in the NCAA Tournament in March 1991.

This game was close most of the way before Georgia Tech went on an 18-4 run to open a 66-51 lead with 4:42 left. Bosh and sophomore B.J. Elder each had a layup and a pair of free throws in the spurt and sophomore Isma'il Muhammad capped it with two free throws and a dunk.

The 6-10 Bosh, a McDonald's All-American last season, was 6-of-9 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds.

"The thing that has been most impressive to me about Chris is that he's such an intelligent player," Hewitt said. "When people front him, he's sealing and catching high-low passes, or he steps out on the perimeter and his ability to shoot the ball makes him a tough guy to cover. He shoots the ball very well and takes good shots."

Elder had 12 points and Marvin Lewis added 11 for the Yellow Jackets, who shot 53 percent from the field.

Sean Connolly scored 16 points and fellow senior guard Brent Darby added 12 for Ohio State, which shot just 27 percent (7-of-26) in the second half.

"I thanked both Connolly and Darby after the game," Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien said. "They've both had very nice careers and I'm proud of everything that they've done for us and there is no question we are going to miss both of them."


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