Georgia Tech pounds Kennesaw State, 80-55

The goal for Georgia Tech Tuesday afternoon was to recalibrate after the Florida State loss Sunday, to get right before heading home for the Christmas break.

Check. Or, hey, check plus. Georgia Tech 80, Kennesaw State 55.

The Owls (4-7) were no match for a Tech team eager to re-establish its inside game after Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors had been clamped for only 12 points against a long Florida State frontcourt. On Tuesday the duo finished with 11 points apiece and combined for 16 rebounds.

"We still wanted to come out here and do what we do best and that's use our athleticism, use our length, big size and take our time on offense," Lawal said.

The one carryover from the FSU game was Zachery Peacock. For the second straight game, he led the Yellow Jackets in scoring off the bench, scoring 18 points in 16 minutes on 8-of-8 shooting, including two 3-pointers.

"If I could get everybody playing at the same level of concentration and effort as him, then there's no telling what this team is capable of accomplishing," Tech coach Paul Hewitt said.

Guard Moe Miller finished with eight assists and made a case, which Hewitt acknowledged, for more playing time. Freshman point guard Mfon Udofia played 41 minutes against Florida State.

Unlike some recent games against lesser opponents, the Yellow Jackets blew out KSU with a dominant second half.

After exhibiting offensive troubles against FSU and then scoring only 27 points against the Owls in the first half, Tech nearly doubled that output with 53 points in the second.

It might have had something to do with the "pop quiz" Hewitt gave at halftime, calling a couple of players (whom he would not  name) to the locker room chalkboard to diagram plays.

The Yellow Jackets made 17 of their first 21 shots in the second half over a 14-minute stretch, including 6 of 7 from 3-point range. After shooting only 32.9 percent against Florida State, the Yellow Jackets took advantage of more elbow room against Kennesaw State and finished at 52.6 percent.

The Owls matched Tech with nine 3-pointers, which was a season-high for the Yellow Jackets, but struggled otherwise to keep anything going. Kurtis Woods led Kennesaw State with 18 points.

With three minutes to go, the Owls' Jonathan Whipple showed some of KSU's frustration when he shoved Lawal in the chest after being whistled for fouling him. Lawal's response? Patting Whipple on the head.

It was a show of good sportsmanship as well as a demonstration for the way things were going for Tech. About the Yellow Jackets' only complaint was missing four dunks.

"Man, I've been hitting the push-ups too hard," said Lawal, who missed two of them. "I've got to make those. There's no excuse."

Tech did make five dunks, including a pair of highlight jobs from Favors. Lawal fed Peacock for a dunk. Then Peacock fed Brad Sheehan.

Tech was back to playing like a team, which was a welcome sign to Hewitt.

"That game on Sunday night was as tough a loss as I've enduring here," Hewitt said in his postgame radio interview. "I will say this. Don't give up on these guys yet. We played four freshmen on Sunday night and they're going to get better. Our upperclassmen are going to regain the edge that we need to play with."