ATLANTA (AP) Damion Lee scored 17 points, Anas Mahmoud added 15 and No. 17 Louisville held on in the closing seconds to beat hard-luck Georgia Tech 75-71 on Saturday.
In a back-and-forth game that was close all the way, Mahmoud was in the middle of a crucial sequence with 1:01 remaining that helped the Cardinals (16-3, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) claim their third straight win.
With the scored tied at 69, the 7-foot sophomore got free under the basket for a pass from Trey Lewis. Georgia Tech’s Marcus Georges-Hunt came in from behind to make the block, but he appeared to get Mahmoud with the body. Georges-Hunt, who led the Yellow Jackets with 23 points, fouled out on the play.
Mahmoud made both free throws to give Louisville a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Georgia Tech (11-8, 1-5) has lost its five ACC games by a total of 26 points.
After Mahmoud’s free throws, Georgia Tech struggled to get off a shot with Georges-Hunt on the bench. Tadric Jackson drove toward the lane, tried to make an awkward pass back to Adam Smith, only to have Lee step in for the steal.
The Yellow Jackets were forced to foul Quentin Snider, who made both free throws with 25.2 seconds remaining. Smith scored on a driving layup to give Georgia Tech one more chance, but Donovan Mitchell knocked down two free throws to seal the victory.
Lewis and Chinanu Onuaku had 12 points each for the Cardinals. Mitchell chipped in with 11.
Georges-Hunt carried the offensive load for the Yellow Jackets, drawing foul after foul before he fouled out. He finished 12 of 12 at the free throw line. Nick Jacobs had 16 points, and Smith finished with 12.
Georgia Tech closed the first half on a 7-0 run to take a 39-32 lead. The Cardinals really bogged down in the closing minutes of the period, missing 10 of their last 12 shots. Overall, they shot just 33 percent before halftime.
It was the Yellow Jackets who started slowly in the second half. Louisville forced three quick turnovers, scoring the first seven points to pull back into a tie. It was tight the rest of the way.
Louisville came into the game ranked 15th nationally in field goal shooting, hitting 49.2 percent. The Cardinals rallied from the slow start to make 15 of 25 in the second half.
Louisville: Onuaku had his sixth straight double-double, also pulling down 11 rebounds. … Lewis surpassed 1,300 points in his career during the first half. … The Cardinals shot 44.3 percent (27 of 61) from the field.
Georgia Tech: Outrebounded the Cardinals 41-33 to keep up its strong play on the boards. Jacobs and Charles Mitchell has 10 rebounds apiece. … The Yellow Jackets went with a three-guard lineup, giving Travis Jorgenson his first start of the season in place of Quinton Stephens. The other starters remained the same. … Georges-Hunt had a spectacular block with about 9 minutes remaining, after Louisville appeared to be setting up for an easy basket. Mitchell swiped the ball from Jorgenson in the backcourt, and Lee took a pass all alone beneath the basket. But as Lee went up for an apparent dunk, Georges-Hunt raced back to knock it away.
Louisville: At Virginia Tech on Wednesday night.
Georgia Tech: At North Carolina State on Wednesday night.