MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The newly-formed "Battle of the Cats" rivalry game was every bit as good as advertised Thursday in the Centennial Center, as Georgia College men's basketball (12-8, 6-6 PBC) handed No. 7 Augusta State University (21-3, 11-3 PBC) a shocking 73-69 loss.
The Bobcats' 6-foot-8 center Reece Wiedeman (Suwanee, Ga.) came up big early and often tonight, posting 25 points to go with eight boards. Wiedeman was 10-of-15 shooting from the floor.
Junior Jared Holmes (Indianapolis) continues to impress in his first season at GC, scoring 15 points, including a few transition buckets with 6-of-10 shooting. Sophomore guard Nate Hamilton (Snellville, Ga.) got 13 points—all from the charity stripe—while junior Ryan Aquino (Roswell, Ga.) added 10 points and seven boards.
Franck Ndongo led all Jaguar scorers with 19 points and nine rebounds. O'Neal Armstrong and George Johnson each tallied 15 points, the former adding seven assists.
The 'Cats fired right out of the gate, taking an early lead 6-4 and not letting up until the 2:21 mark of the first half. GC grabbed the halftime advantage 32-31 with a late Wiedeman lay-in.
In the second half ASU took over early, building a lead as large as nine at 52-41 with 12:53 left. When it look like the Jaguars were going to run away with it, GC began to whittle away at the deficit, finally getting a one-point lead thanks to a hand-changing, floating layup by Holmes with 4:30 remaining.
The score tilted back and forth for a couple of possessions and then finally in GC's favor at 66-65 after a pair of Royal Thomas (LaGrange, Ga.) free-throws with 2:25 on the clock. GC hit 13-of-14 free tosses over the final seven minutes to close out the game. Thomas finished with four points, a pair of assists and three boards.
The Bobcats did their damage down low and at the charity stripe, taking points in the paint 30-18 and second-chance points 25-11. GC hit 25-of-32 free-throws, while ASU managed to go to the line just 18 times, hitting 14.
Senior forward Josh Hurst (Athens, Ga.) pulled down seven rebounds tonight, giving him 517 in his career, passing Johnny Simpson (1984-86) into sixth in school history, next up is No. 5 Tony Edmonson (1993-97) with 628.
The Bobcats are back in action Saturday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at USC Aiken (13-8, 7-7 PBC). The Pacers most recently lost 73-67 tonight at the University of Montevallo.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, back-to-back winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at www.twitter.com/GCSUBobcats and www.facebook.com/gcbobcats for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GC Athletics Hall of Fame.