AMERICUS, Ga. - The No. 23 Georgia College & State University men's basketball team (19-4, 12-2 PBC) escaped Wednesday's (Feb. 17) game at Georgia Southwestern State University (6-18, 2-12 PBC) with a surprising 61-60 victory.
Junior forward Josh Hurst (Athens, Ga.) was fouled with five second left, down 60-59. An 83 percent free-throw shooter on the year, Hurst knocked down both attempts to give the Bobcats the victory. Hurst made 10-of-11 free-throw attempts, finishing with 16 points, none more important than the final two.
In a game that featured six lead changes and five ties, the Hurricanes' Evan Mobley went to the line with his team up three and 1:25 left. He hit the first, missed the second and Ty Rowland (Lilburn, Ga.) responded on the other end with a three to cut the lead to 60-59.
Graham Martin (Marietta, Ga.) picked off GSW's Marcus Scott with 21 seconds left and after a timeout, the Bobcats worked the clock down to five seconds before Hurst was fouled.
Martin and Rowland each finished with nine points apiece, as the team was led by Hurst's near double-double of 16 points and nine boards. Junior guard Jake Rios (Bozeman, Mt.) added 13 on 4-of-7 from the floor. Rios now has 16 double-digit scoring games this season.
GSW's Scott poured in 23 points, hitting four threes among his seven field goals made. The ‘Canes got 17 from Mobley, and 13 points and nine boards from Chris Rawls.
The Bobcats hit an uncharacteristically low 27 percent from long range (4-15) including 0-for-4 in the first half. Georgia College capitalized on 11 steals, owning a 16-7 advantage in points off turnovers.
The win makes the Bobcats 12-2 in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC), and with three games left they could still finish anywhere in the top three spots in the PBC West.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday, Feb. 20 at 3:30 p.m. for the annual Homecoming game against Columbus State University.
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.