Georgia Tech, taking advantage of its superior quickness and size, routed the U.S. Naval Academy, 82-64, tonight in the championship game of the Cotton States Classic before 15,768 in the Omni.
The seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets (9-1) raced to a 45-29 halftime lead over a Navy team that upset 20th-ranked De Paul Friday night.
De Paul struggled past Texas, 63-62, in the consolation game.
In the championship game, Georgia Tech used its quickness, height and accurate shooting to turn a 12-12 game with 14:42 left in the first half into a runaway five minutes after intermission.
"I thought we played pretty good at times, but we had to have help from our bench because the starters played hard and got tired," said Georgia Tech Coach Bobby Cremins.
The Yellow Jackets got only four points from their bench, but each starter scored in double figures, led by guard Mark Price, the tournament's most valuable player, with 23 points. Center John Salley had 20, outplaying Navy pivotman David Robinson, who scored 17.
Robinson, Navy's leading scorer and rebounder this season, was held in check by the 7-foot Salley throughout the first half, when Robinson had eight points and just one rebound. But during the last 20 minutes, the 6-11 junior blocked six shots and had six rebounds.
Like the night before, the bulk of Navy's offense was provided by senior forward Vernon Butler, who scored a team-high 22 points and had seven rebounds.
"Butler did one heck of a basketball job. He's one fine player," said Cremins. "He doesn't have extraordinary talent, but that kid's a player."
The Midshipmen, down by as many as 23 in the second half, pulled within 14 when Butler made a layup with 4:42 left. However, Navy was to come no closer.
"We really got outplayed in the first half. We had too many turnovers," said Navy Coach Paul Evans, whose team committed 14 turnovers during the first 20 minutes. "The second half we played better. They're a great ball club, and we don't have the quickness to play man-to-man against them."
Navy's zone posed no problem for Tech, which shot 56.7 percent, compared to Navy's 44 percent.