March 14, 2009

Bobcat Men’s Basketball Ends Season at NCAA Regional in 80-78 Loss

AUGUSTA, Ga. - An L.J. Dunn turnaround jumper with 1.8 seconds left put an end to one of the top seasons in Georgia College & State University men's basketball (22-7) history, as the Bobcats fell to Barton College (25-6) 80-78 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at Augusta State University.

Dunn finished with a team-high 21 points, but none more important than that last two. Faced with a four-point deficit with just 35 seconds left, the Bobcats battled back, as senior guard Shaun Keaton (Albany, Ga.) knocked down a three pointer to cut the lead to one, 77-76.

After the Bulldogs made one-of-two free throws at the other end, Keaton went sliding down the left sideline and drew a blocking foul to be sent to the line himself for the chance to tie. He knocked down both chances and tied the game for the 14th time with 14 seconds remaining. Then Aaron Suggs found Dunn on the left baseline for the 12-foot dagger.

Keaton finished with a game-high 25 points, his seventh-straight 20-point game, and 12th of the season. Junior guard Graham Martin (Marietta, Ga.) found the range again tonight, going 6-for-10 from the floor with 13 points, and classmate Ty Rowland (Lilburn, Ga.) added 10 points.

An All-District First Team pick, Keaton went 15-for-16 from the free-throw line, one short of the school record set by Mark Stallings against Southern Tech in 1970-71. Keaton's career free-throw total finishes at 318, good for second all-time, passing GCSU Hall of Fame selection Julius Joseph.

Sophomore Josh Hurst (Athens, Ga.) battled foul trouble but still finished with nine points and seven boards, while senior Ken Kemp (Dublin, Ga.) had four points with six boards and a game-high six assists.

Kemp finishes with 465 career boards, good for 10th place in school history.

Dunn's 21 was flanked by 17 from Bobby Buffaloe and 10 from Greg Mammel. The Bulldogs overcame a seven-point halftime deficit with outstanding shooting, hitting 65 percent (19-29) from the floor and 80 percent from three point (8-10).

The loss closes the season for Georgia College at 22-7, the 10th 20-win season in school history, and the highest win total since the Bobcats had 25 in the 1999-2000 Elite Eight campaign, widely regarded as the best team in school history.

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.