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Bell has 16 points, Favors 5 blocks, GaTech romps

ATLANTA (AP) — D'Andre Bell led a balanced offense with 16 points, Derrick Favors blocked five shots and No. 22 Georgia Tech pulled away early in the second half Thursday night for a 79-58 rout of Wake Forest.

Coming off a tough loss at Florida State, the Yellow Jackets (15-5, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) ripped off a 19-4 run to break open a tight game. As usual in its ACC victories, Georgia Tech did its best work at the defensive end, holding the Demon Deacons (14-5, 4-3) almost 19 points below their scoring average for the season.

Wake Forest shot just 33 percent from the field (21 of 64) and had only two players in double figures: Al-Farouq Aminu with 15 points and Ishmael Smith with 12.

Georgia Tech spread the offense around. Gani Lawal had 14 points and Brian Oliver added 13, while Iman Shumpert and Favors chipped in with 11 each. Favors and Lawal also had nine rebounds apiece, leading the Yellow Jackets to a 43-34 edge on the boards.

After the Deacons scored the first two baskets of the second half to close a six-point deficit to 35-33, Georgia Tech took control.

Lawal got it started, hitting a shot on the inside, drawing a foul on Aminu and knocking down the free throw to complete the three-point play. Shumpert followed with a 3-pointer, then swished a smooth jumper. Just like that, Georgia Tech had its first double-digit lead of the night, 45-35.

The Yellow Jackets didn't let up — at either end. Lawal got loose on the inside for a dunk, Oliver knocked down another 3, Favors went back inside for another easy one and Bell closed out the run with a pair of free throws.

Wake Forest, on the other hand, missed seven of eight shots from the field and four straight free throws, allowing Georgia Tech to make it a laugher.

The Yellow Jackets wound up shooting 54 percent (29 of 54) to easily win their sixth straight over the Demon Deacons in Atlanta. Georgia Tech needed this one, coming off a final-minute, two-point loss at Florida State last weekend.

In its ACC wins, the Yellow Jackets have held Duke, North Carolina, Clemson and Wake Forest nearly 16 points below their cumulative scoring averages for the season.