by Brian DeCandia, sports information graduate assistant
MORROW, Ga. – Senior Ryan Aquino's (Roswell, Ga.) 25-point, 17-rebound night was not enough to propel Georgia College (17-9, 10-7 PBC) past Clayton State University (16-10, 8-9 PBC), as the 'Cats dropped their season finale Saturday night, 69-64.
The Bobcats quickly went on an 11-3 run, aided by seven points from Aquino. The Bobcats saw their lead disappear when Anthony Salter hit a layup to put the Lakers up 20-19. The half would end with Clayton St. holding a slight 31-27 advantage.
Opening their lead to double-digits, the Lakers tried to put away the Bobcats early in the second half. GC came surging back rattling off 15 unanswered points to take the lead 46-44. Clayton St. would eventually take the lead right back and extend it to eight with 25 seconds remaining. The 'Cats cut it to three with seven ticks left but that would not be enough as Tony Dukes made two free throws to seal the game.
Aquino's game-high 25 points came on 9-of-19 (.473) from the field. His 17 rebounds were one-shy of his single-game best and this double-double makes 16 for the season. Aquino now has 978 career points, 22 shy of becoming the 14th 1,000-point scorer in GC history.
Mike Augustine (Waterloo, Ill.) was the only other Bobcat in double-digits, netting 12 on 5-of-11(.454) shooting from the floor. Jared Holmes (Indianapolis) set a career-high with 10 rebounds, adding six points.
The Bobcats shot 24-of-66 (.364) from the field and a mere 10-of-17 (.588) from the charity stripe. Clayton St. shot .390 (23-59) on the evening and 19-of-25 (.760) from the free throw line. The Bobcats were outrebounded 31-29, but held a slight 11-10 edge in the turnover department.
The Bobcats await their seed in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament set to start Thursday, March 1 in Columbus, Ga.
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.