January 31, 2009

#24 Bobcats Edge Second Top-10 Team in Week, 79-76

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MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - In a matchup of the top two men's basketball teams in the region, No. 24 Georgia College & State University (15-2, 9-2 PBC) topped No. 7 Augusta State University (14-4, 8-3 PBC) tonight (Jan. 31) 79-76 in the Centennial Center.

In front of the largest crowd of the season, an estimated 1,702 saw the Bobcats beat their second top-10 opponent in the past week. GCSU downed No. 10 USC Aiken Saturday, Jan. 24 69-63.

Georgia College hit a whopping 13 three-pointers, went 20-for-22 from the free-throw line and turned the ball over just seven times to edge the Peach Belt Conference's (PBC) top team, ending a six-game losing streak to the Jaguars.

Senior guard Shaun Keaton (Albany, Ga.) made 6-of-10 from the floor and 8-of-8 from the stripe for a game-high 23 points, also pulling down a career-best nine boards. Classmate Ken Kemp (Dublin, Ga.) added 12 points and six boards, while junior guards Graham Martin (Marietta, Ga.) and Ty Rowland (Lilburn, Ga.) added 10 points apiece.

In a back-and-forth affair that never reached more than a six-point advantage in the second half, a Keaton three-pointer from well beyond the arc gave the Bobcats a 75-74 lead with 1:55 left. Kemp then drew an offensive foul on Fred Brathwaite on the other end, allowing Keaton to hit a running jumper on the next possession for the 77-74 lead with one minute left.

A Garret Siler layup cut the lead to one with 39 seconds remaining, and after a missed Bobcat free-throw, the Jaguars had the ball down by one with 34 seconds remaining. Rowland's tough defense caused a turnover on the other end, and the junior put the game on the final 79-76 with a pair of free-throws. A last-ditch tie attempt by Ben Madgen would fall off the mark.

Siler led the Jaguars with 18 points and seven boards, aided by 16 from Madgen and 13 from reserve guard Daniel Dixon.

The Bobcats were just out-rebounded 37-36 by a much larger team, but won the battle on the offensive glass 15-11, earning a 20-12 second-chance points advantage.

Keaton now has 1,130 career points, passing Larry Anderson's (1971-75) 1,112 and tying Tim Jones (1995-97) for ninth all-time at GCSU. Keaton's six free-throws moves him past Jones into sixth all-time with 243 makes.

With the win, Georgia College moves into a brief sole possession of first place in the PBC standings at 9-2. The winner of the No. 12 Armstrong Atlantic State University against No. 14 USC Aiken game will join the Bobcats later tonight.

The Bobcats are back in action Monday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m., hosting UNC Pembroke (5-13, 2-9 PBC). UNCP most recently lost at Clayton State University 74-48 today. Monday's contest will be Upward Basketball Night at the Centennial Center.

Visit www2.GCSU.edu/Bobcats to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement.