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Louisiana Tech builds early 26-point lead, holds off comeback to beat Georgia 79-71 in NIT

Alex Hamilton scored 20 points and Louisiana Tech held a 26-point lead in the first half before holding off a late Georgia comeback for a 79-71 victory in the second round of the NIT on Saturday.

Louisiana Tech (29-7) made seven of its first eight 3-point attempts while taking a 39-13 lead. The key was the Bulldogs' defense, with 10 first-half steals, many forced by full-court pressure.

Georgia (20-14) regained its offensive composure in the second half and cut the lead to 72-66 with 1:08 remaining. Georgia's J.J. Frazier, who had 15 points, made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 74-71. The comeback ended there.

Louisiana Tech will play the winner of Monday's Georgetown-Florida State game in the quarterfinals.

Chris Anderson scored 18 points, Cordarius Johnson added 16 and Kenyon McNeail had 14 for Louisiana Tech.

Charles Mann had 13 points for Georgia.