GC Men Drop Peach Belt Opener in Overtime, 53-52

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – It took overtime, but the Georgia College men's basketball team (6-2, 0-1 PBC) dropped its Peach Belt Conference (PBC) opener at North Georgia (5-4, 1-0 PBC) 53-52 Wednesday. A big North Georgia steal by Scott Windom on the final possession in overtime sealed the victory. 

Senior guard Jared Holmes (Indianapolis) led all scorers with 14 points in the low-scoring affair. He added six boards. Classmate Ryan Aquino (Roswell, Ga.) had 11 points with six rebounds and three steals. Junior Scott Ferguson (Roswell, Ga.) had some great second-half minutes, putting up eight points with five rebounds and a pair of steals. 

The Bobcats and Saints struggled through a physical first half, both teams shooting south of 35 percent. The Bobcats took a 22-21 lead into the half, thanks to eight points by Holmes. 

Both teams continued to battle through the second half, GC controlling the game until very late. Less than a minute left, Elijah Smith threw down a put-back dunk for a 46-45 deficit for North Georgia, then after a GC free throw, a goaltend on the 'Cats with four seconds remaining gave it a 47-47 score at the end of regulation. 

In overtime, Aquino knocked down a highly-contested layup with 48 seconds left, cutting the Saints' lead to 53-52. He followed that up with a steal on the other end, setting up the game-ending steal as time expired. 

The Saints dominated the boards 50-33, with both teams struggling shooting. GC hit 36 percent (22-61) as was North Georgia (22-62). GC was 1-of-18 from three-point shooting, while North Georgia wasn't much better at 1-of-17. GC's turnovers kept them in the contest, causing 19 while only turning it over 11 times. 

Windom tallied a double-double at 11 points and 10 boards. Smith chipped in with 13 points and seven rebounds. Clarence Tillman came into the game averaging 21.9 points per contest for North Georgia, and was held to just six by the Bobcat defense. 

The Bobcats are back in action in Savannah, Ga. Dec. 30, taking on Mars Hill College at 3 p.m. 

The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time 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/BobcatSports 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.