AUGUSTA, Ga. - Facing its first nationally-ranked opponent of the season, Georgia College & State University men's basketball (4-1, 0-1 PBC) dropped an 80-68 game at No. 3 Augusta State University (4-1, 1-0 PBC) tonight (Dec. 15).
The Jaguars had some hot shooting early, knocking down 64 percent (16-25) in the first half. They took the lead from the Bobcats for the first time with 15:37 left in the first frame, and never surrendered the advantage the rest of the way.
The Bobcats were led by a senior trio. Guard Shaun Keaton (Albany, Ga.) tallied 18 points with Ken Kemp (Dublin, Ga.) adding 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Senior Justin Brown (New Orleans) provided a spark with 10 points off the bench.
GCSU did a solid job taking care of the ball, getting 17 turnovers while giving up 11, and winning the steals battle 12-5. The Bobcats had more offensive rebounds (15-12) but lost the overall edge on the glass 40-32.
The Jaguars had balanced scoring, as 2008 All-Peach Belt Conference (PBC) selection Ben Madgen led six double-digit scorers with 14 points. Fred Brathwaite had 13, as did reserve guard Daniel Dixon. Forward Greg Mire had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards, with All-PBC center Garret Siler and reserve Caleb Brown each adding 10 points to the cause.
The never-say-die Bobcats chipped away at the lead, which reached a height of 19 on three occasions in the first half. Down 15 at 65-50 with 5:13 left in the second stanza, Georgia College went on a quick 10-0 run, scored by Keaton on two threes and four free-throws. The Jags got a big three from Dixon to send momentum back in the other direction.
ASU now owns the all-time series with Georgia College 25-15, and have taken the last six meetings. Keaton now has 982 career points, just 18 away from becoming the 12th member of the 1,000-point club at GCSU.
The Bobcats are back in action Monday, Dec. 29 at 5 p.m., facing Wingate University (5-3) in game one of the SpringHill Suites Midtown New Year Classic, hosted by Armstrong Atlantic State University. The Bulldogs take on both Fayetteville State University and Barton College before traveling to Savannah, Ga.
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. Follow the Bobcats and their positive impact on the Milledgeville community at www.gcsu.edu/bobcats. Those interested in nominating former Georgia College student-athletes for the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame can find the nomination form on the web site as well.