ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech finally got a taste of postseason basketball and it went down smooth.
The Yellow Jackets (20-14) used a relentless attack and whipped Houston 81-62 in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament at McCamish Pavilion on Wednesday. It was their first postseason game and their first postseason win since 2010.
Adam Smith scored 20 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead the Yellow Jackets. He even had a four-point play that had Houston coach Kelvin Sampson comparing him to Steph Curry.
Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 18 points and did a masterful job on defense, holding Rob Gray, Houston's leading scorer, to nine points.
Houston (22-10) got 21 points from Devonta Pollard.
THREE WHO MATTERED
Georges-Hunt: The senior scored 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers early in the game. He had four rebounds, five assists, a block and a steal in his final game at McCamish Pavilion.
Smith: The senior shot 6-for-12 from the floor, including 3-for-6 on 3 pointers. He was 5-for-5 from the line and added four assists.
Ben Lammers: The starting-center-in-waiting came off the bench to provide 22 quality minutes. "The Lamminator" scored nine points, including a pair of dunks, and had five rebounds and two blocked shots.
The Yellow Jackets took control late in the first half, but put their foot down early in the second half. A driving basket by Georges-Hunt provided a 15-point lead with 17:17 left and Georgia Tech was on its way.
Grabbing the momentum: Georgia Tech used a 9-2 run late in the first half to build a nine-point lead. The stretch included a pair of 3-pointers by Smith, the second one with a free throw tacked on, and a driving basket by Georges-Hunt.
Smart timeout: After Houston went on a 7-2 to cut Georgia Tech's lead to 66-49 with 8:18 left, Gregory called a timeout to settle things down. It was less than a week ago that the Yellow Jackets had erased an 18-point second-half deficit to beat Clemson in the ACC Tournament and Gregory didn't want the same thing to happen to his squad.
Hey, it's a pattern: For the ninth straight game the Yellow Jackets started Georges-Hunt and Smith at guard, Mitchell, Nick Jacobs and Quinton Stephens at guard.
Lighting it up: The 19-point margin was the largest in the postseason for the Yellow Jackets. They had 17-point wins against Syracuse in the second round of the NCAAs in 1985 and against DePaul in the first round in 1991.
THEY SAID IT
Sampson on Smith's shots: "(Smith) makes a lot of bad shots. The only guy I've seen make shots like that is Steph Curry. If those shots don't go in but, hey, they went in. There's no make believe."
Gregory on the victory: "I couldn't be prouder of the energy, the effort and the discipline they played with (Wednesday)."
Gregory on winning No. 20: "To win 20 games against that schedule is a great accomplishment for our seniors."
Gregory on Lammers: "He's 15 pounds away from being a tremendous player. Fifteen pounds and me keep telling him he can be great. He was a force in the second half."
Georgia Tech will play at 9 p.m. on Monday at South Carolina in the second round.