NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Georgia Tech's three-guard attack of B.J. Elder, Will Bynum and Jarrett Jack proved too much for George Washington down the stretch.
Elder, Bynum and Jack each made two baskets during a key late run as the fifth-seeded Yellow Jackets defeated the No. 12 Colonials, 80-68, in a first-round Albuquerque Region contest.
"Obviously, what stabilized the game for us was our guard play," Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said.
George Washington coach Karl Hobbs concurred.
"The difference in the game was their guard play midway through the second half," he said. "They were able to capitalize on six or seven straight trips down the floor."
The Yellow Jackets, who reached the championship game last year, will face Louisville in the second round here on Sunday.
Georgia Tech held just a 57-56 edge before Elder made a jump shot with 9:24 left to trigger a 12-0 run. Jack, who scored 20 points, capped the burst with a layup for a 69-56 cushion with 5:53 remaining.
"We were able to defend our basket and capitalize on their missed opportunities," Jack said.
Bynum added 17 points and Elder 15 for Georgia Tech (20-11), which connected on 17-of-22 free throws.
"George Washington is an up-tempo team, but so are we," Bynum said. "We were able to make a run at the end to put them away."
Pops Mensah-Bonsu scored 15 points and Mike Hall chipped in 13 for the Colonials (22-8), who went just 4-of-16 from the line.
"You are not going to beat a team the caliber of Georgia Tech when you go 4-for-16 from the free throw line," Mensah-Bonsu said.
Georgia Tech has won all three all-time meetings with George Washington.
The Yellow Jackets, who made half of their 56 shots, won despite getting outscored in the paint (40-22), off of turnovers (18-13) and on the break (14-4).
Georgia Tech led by as many as six points in the first half and took a 40-35 edge into the break.
George Washington scored eight of the first 10 points in the second half and the game was tight for the next 10 minutes.