ATLANTA (Ticker) -- By scoring the first nine points of the game, Georgia Tech put an end to any hopes Dean Keener had of beating his former team.
Isma'il Muhammad paced four players in double figures with 14 points as third-ranked Georgia Tech easily took care of James Madison, 72-47.
Keener, the first year coach for the Dukes, was an assistant at Georgia Tech the last four years.
"It's weird," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said about facing Keener. "It's the first time in my career that it's 12:30 on the day of the game and here comes the opposing coach walking into my office. We were sitting around talking for an hour, and I finally said, 'This is strange, get out of here.' He's a very, very close friend, and he's had a lot to do with the success we've had here the last four years."
In a convincing but uninspiring offensive performance, Muhammad provided some excitement with a variety of drives to the basket, including a reverse layup and a thunderous two-hand behind his head dunk. Muhammad shot 5-of-6 from the floor.
"We've got to pass the basketball better," Hewitt said. "When we pass the ball, we're a good offensive team. When we don't pass the ball we have some trouble scoring. Trust me, we have the shooters. But when we don't pass the ball crisply, we make guys who are good shooters have to catch a short hop or jump up to catch the ball. Now the guys aren't open anymore."
The Dukes' zone slowed down the pace in the first half but the Yellow Jackets defense provided a 30-14 halftime lead by limiting James Madison to 5-of-28 shooting. It was the third time this season Georgia Tech (7-0) had held an opponent to under 20 points in the first half.
"In the first half, when we were able to set up our pressure, we were able to force some turnovers and get some easy baskets," Hewitt said. "But they did a good job of defensing us in the first half and grinding the game to a halt...We couldn't get into the flow offensively because of their defense forcing us into some poor shots and some bad turnovers."
Georgia Tech held James Madison to 31 percent (18-of-38) for the game and forced 26 turnovers.
"Defensively, we're very good and we'll get better," Hewitt said. "Fortunately we are a good defensive team, so when our passing is killing us, our defense makes us well again."
Jarrett Jack continued his strong shooting, adding 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 2-of-3 from the arc for Georgia Tech, which converted eight 3-pointers after having its streak of 546 games with a 3-pointer snapped against Air Force on Saturday.
Jack, who is shooting just under 64 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the arc this season, added five assists and five steals but turned the ball over seven times. The junior has 13 turnovers in the last two games after committing 13 in his first five.
Will Bynum and Anthony McHenry added 10 points apiece for the Yellow Jackets.
Ray Barbosa scored 15 points but shot 5-of-22 for James Madison (2-4), which has lost both games in this series. Cavell Johnson added 11.
"I hope that tonight our guys can come away with the fact that at least they competed at a pretty good level against one of the best teams in the country."
Georgia Tech has won its seven games by a combined average of over 25 points and has only been tested once, a 60-59 victory against Chicago-Illinois on November 22. The quality of the opponents will begin to improve as the Yellow Jackets have matchups with Top-25 foes Gonzaga and Kansas in the next two weeks before the Atlantic Coast Conference schedule kicks into gear.