MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - Senior guard Shaun Keaton (Albany, Ga.) made the most of his final game at the Centennial Center hitting a career-high 31 points, including five threes and 10-of-11 from the charity stripe, but he surely would have traded it all for a win as the No. 25 Georgia College & State University men's basketball team (19-5, 13-5 PBC) fell to Francis Marion University (16-9, 9-9 PBC) 67-65 tonight (Feb. 21).
In a game with nine lead changes and nine ties, the Patriots took the final advantage with 32 seconds remaining at 64-63 on an Anthony Wallen lay-in. A big block on the ensuing possession by Kevin Clark set up Houston Power for two free-throws making the difference three.
With seven seconds remaining, Power fouled Keaton in the act of a three-pointer, giving him three free throws for the tie. He missed the first, and nailed the other two, cutting the lead to one. Sam Smith missed his second free-throw giving GCSU one more shot on a three to tie, but it fell short as time expired.
Keaton's 31 points are the most by a Bobcat since Aaron Clark (2004-08) scored the same number against North Georgia Feb. 6, 2008. Keaton made five threes giving him 224 in his three-year career, passing John John Steensland (1996-2000) for the most in school history.
Senior Ken Kemp (Dublin, Ga.) now has 442 career rebounds, just three behind Georgia College Hall of Famer Julius Joseph (1997-2000) and the school's top-10.
Crayton Jones paced the Patriots with a 16 point, 10 rebound double-double. Adding a double-double off the pine was David Turner, tallying 11 points and 10 boards. Wallen finished with 12 points.
The Bobcats had a sub-par game from the floor, hitting 19-of-54 (.352), while FMU knocked down 23-of-53 (.434). The Patriots also held a rebound advantage of 42-33.
The loss dips the Bobcats into a tie for third in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) with Armstrong Atlantic State University. Francis Marion stands fifth.
The Bobcats are back in action Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. traveling to UNC Pembroke (5-20, 2-16 PBC).
Visit www.GCSUBobcats.com 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.