MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - In a crucial region contest, No. 25 Georgia College & State University men's basketball (15-2, 8-0 PBC) extended its win streak to nine straight with a 71-61 victory over Francis Marion University (15-3, 7-2 PBC) tonight at the Centennial Center.
The Bobcats were listed just one slot behind second-place FMU in the first NCAA Southeast Regional Poll, released Tuesday. This poll is used to determine the at-large selections to the NCAA Tournament in March.
Senior Graham Martin (Marietta, Ga.) led all scorers with 24 points, one shy of his season-best. Robert Thomas (Mankato, Minn.) supplied 10 points off the bench with nine each coming from Josh Hurst (Athens, Ga.) and Ty Rowland (Lilburn, Ga.).
Martin and Ryan Aquino (Roswell, Ga.) pulled down eight boards each, with the latter grabbing four on the offensive glass.
The Bobcats out-shot the Patriots 43 percent (20-47) to 40 percent (21-53), but it was free-throw shooting that made the most impact. Georgia College hit 13 more free throws than FMU, going 25-31 (.806) at the charity stripe.
Simel Boyd led the Patriots with 12 points and was the lone Patriot in double figures in the defensive-minded contest.
It took 2:29 into the contest for the game's first points, a three by Martin. After two lead changes, Georgia College got the advantage at 9-6 with 14:32 left in the first half on a Rowland three, and wouldn't surrender it from there. The first four shots made from the field by GCSU were threes.
Martin now has 1,146 career points, passing Tim Jones (1995-97) into 11th all-time at Georgia College. The top-10 and Mike Roberts (1986-87, 88-89) are 18 points away.
The Bobcats are back in action Sunday at 7:30 p.m., hosting UNC Pembroke for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Night, the public is offered free admission with a church bulletin.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, 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. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.