Mark Price scored 22 points and John Salley 16 as fifth-ranked Georgia Tech, running off a streak of 12 points early in the second half, defeated Virginia, 62-55, today at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
The Yellow Jackets overcame a 34-30 halftime deficit with their 12-0 spurt, which included five points in a row by Salley. They went ahead to stay on a three-point play by Salley that gave them a 39-36 lead with 16:27 remaining.
Georgia Tech ended a two-game Atlantic Coast Conference losing streak. The Yellow Jackets are 19-4 overall and 7-3 in the ACC.
"Confidence has been at an all-time low," said Coach Bobby Cremins, alluding to losses to North Carolina and Duke in Georgia Tech's last two ACC games. "Emotionally, we've been a down team. We needed a game like this to get us back on the right track."
Virginia, which had won nine of its last 11, fell to 16-7 and 5-5. Mel Kennedy led the Cavaliers with 16 points and nine rebounds and Olden Polynice had 14 points.
"I felt it would be an alley fight," said Virginia Coach Terry Holland. "Both teams wanted to win very badly. We gave it a great effort, but they won the game."
Price's 22 points gave him 2,015 for his career, making him the 20th player in ACC history to reach the 2,000 mark. He is tied with Maryland's John Lucas and North Carolina's Al Wood for 16th place on the all-time ACC scoring list.
Price is second in all-time Georgia Tech scoring behind Rich Yunkus (1968-71), who scored 2,232 points in three seasons.
It was a game of streaks. The Yellow Jackets took a 10-2 lead before Virginia scored 17 of the next 20 points to go ahead, 19-13, with 12:33 left in the half. Georgia Tech rallied to take a 30-28 lead on Tom Hammonds' layup with 3:05 left, but Virginia scored the final six points of the half to go ahead, 34-30.
Virginia got within two points midway in the second half before Salley scored six points in three minutes to help Georgia Tech build a 60-48 lead.