Georgia Tech beats Arkansas 83-73
NEW YORK (AP) By Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory's lofty standards, Charles Mitchell could have collected 20 rebounds.
But the rebounds Mitchell was able to pull down were more than good enough.
The senior forward finished with a double-double, getting 18 points and 18 rebounds and Georgia Tech dominated the glass in an 83-73 victory over Arkansas Thursday afternoon in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-off.
Mitchell's big effort helped the Yellow Jackets to a 50-26 advantage and his seven offensive rebounds contributed to 26 second-chance points. Georgia Tech (4-1) will face Villanova or Stanford in Friday's championship game while Arkansas will face Villanova or Stanford in the consolation game.
''Chuck has always been a great offensive rebounder because he just goes,'' Gregory said. ''He's got a hunger and a pretty good feel. He has not been a great defensive rebounder because it's a different dynamic.''
Mitchell grabbed 11 defensive boards while posting his 17th career double-double and 12th since transferring from Maryland, but there were two other rebounds Gregory though he should have gotten.
''He should have had 20 rebounds,'' Gregory said. ''He should have got those two other defensive rebounds. He's bought in to me really having high standards.
Mitchell, who lost more than 20 pounds during the offseason, came within two of his career high in points and came within one of his career best for rebounds set last season against North Carolina State.
''Just energy plays,'' Mitchell said. ''I'm just trying to give my team second-chance possessions.''
Mitchell had nine rebounds at halftime when Georgia Tech held a three-point lead. He had five more during the final 10 1/2 minutes after Arkansas was within 55-54.
''I don't know if that's ever happened where a guy got 18 and 18 but give them credit,'' Razorbacks coach Mike Anderson said. ''They took advantage of us. I thought our lack of physicality was very evident.''
While Mitchell controlled things inside, Adam Smith and Marcus Hunt-George thrived on the perimeter. The backcourt duo led the Yellow Jackets with 19 points each and combined on all eight of Georgia Tech's 3-pointers.
Dusty Hannahs scored 17 points for the Razorbacks (2-2), who led only briefly late in the first half. Anthlon Bell added 14 and Moses Kingsley contributed 13 before fouling out.
Georgia Tech: The starting lineup includes only one player who began his college career at the school. Charles Mitchell is a transfer from Maryland, Josh Heath previously played at South Carolina, Jacobs played high school basketball with former Yellow Jacket Derrick Favors before attending Alabama and Smith is a graduate transfer from Virginia Tech. ... Mitchell has scored a double-double in every game this season. ... Mitchell's career high in points came on November 13, when he scored 21 against Cornell.
Arkansas: This is the Razorbacks second trip to New York for the NIT Season Tip-Off. In 1990, Arkansas had a 10-point victory over eventual national champion Duke before losing to Arizona in the championship game. ... Forward Trey Thompson rolled his ankle late in the first half going for a rebound. He was helped off the court by a member of the training staff and guard Anthlon Bell before going to the locker room. After the game, coach Mike Anderson was unsure of how serious the injury was. ... Arkansas had its starting frontcourt outrebounded by a 25-12 margin.
NETS IN THE CROWD
Three members of the Brooklyn Nets sat courtside. Former Yellow Jackets Thaddeus Young and Jarrett Jack attended the game and former Razorback Joe Johnson also was in the crowd. Young spent one season at the school in 2006-07 before becoming a Philadelphia 76ers first-round pick. Jack played three seasons for Georgia Tech before becoming a Denver Nuggets first-round pick in 2005. Johnson spent two seasons with Arkansas before entering the NBA as a Boston Celtic first-round pick in 2001.
Georgia Tech: Stanford or Villanova on Friday.
Arkansas: Stanford or Villanova on Friday.