MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - It was a tale of two halves for the No. 21 Georgia College & State University men's basketball team (18-2, 11-0 PBC) that ended thankfully with a 74-67 Bobcat victory over Clayton State University (12-9, 5-6 PBC) in the Centennial Center. The Bobcats have won 12 games in a row, dating back to Dec. 30.
Down by as many as 13 points in the first half, the Bobcats entered the break on a 41-30 deficit. The Bobcats made just seven field goals (7-26) in the first frame, and kept it close with a perfect 15-for-15 effort from the free-throw line.
The second half was a different story, as Georgia College held Clayton State to just 35 percent shooting, while the Bobcats made 12-of-23 shots (.522) from the field. The Bobcats committed a school-record low three turnovers for the entire game.
Down 51-41 with 13:18 left in the second half, the Bobcats responded with a 15-0 run, capped by a Ryan Aquino (Roswell, Ga.) lay-up and a 56-51 GCSU lead with 7:41 left. The lay-in was Aquino's only points of the contest. The Bobcats kept the lead for the remainder of the game.
Junior guard Andre Mikell (Snellville, Ga.) hit for a career-high 19 points, providing a necessary spark off the bench once again. Backcourt mate Ty Rowland (Lilburn, Ga.) hit 5-of-8 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the line en route to 18 points, adding a game-high eight assists to the effort.
The Bobcats were clobbered on the boards, 45-28, including a 20-5 gap on the offensive glass. Aquino led Georgia College with five rebounds.
Robert Murry was the lone double-digit scorer for Clayton, putting in 18 points with five rebounds. Brandon Robinson had seven points and eight boards, while Timothy Downs added eight points, five caroms and five assists.
With nine points tonight, Graham Martin (Marietta, Ga.) passed Tim Northcut (1987-91) into eighth in all-time scoring at GCSU, now with 1,192. William Northcut (1987-91) is No. 7 at 1,308.
The Bobcats are back in action Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m., traveling to No. 12 Augusta State University (19-2, 11-1 PBC). The Jaguars disposed of Lander University 81-59 tonight.
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.