GREENWOOD, S.C. – Trailing until the 3:50 mark in the second half, the Georgia College men's basketball team (5-3) didn't quit, stealing away a 75-71 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne University (7-1) Friday, kicking off the Bearcat Holiday Classic at Lander University.
Trailing for the first 36:10 of the contest and by as many as 12 points, the Bobcats chipped away at the LRU lead, getting a 64-63 advantage off a Royal Thomas (LaGrange, Ga.) jumper. After the lead changed hands a couple times, three-point plays in three consecutive trips down the floor for Georgia College helped push the game out of reach and handed the Bears just their second loss of the season.
Senior Nate Hamilton (Snellville, Ga.) knocked down a long-range bomb with 2:59 remaining, then knocked down three free-throws after LRU tied it up again. The lead stretched to six when senior Scott Ferguson (Roswell, Ga.) knocked down a three-point shot with 1:36 remaining. The Bears missed a potential game-tying three with six seconds left.
Hamilton led all scorers with 21 points, his third 20-point game of the season. He knocked down 5-of-8 from long range and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. Senior guard Quin Bivins (Macon, Ga.) helped power the comeback, netting 10 of his 11 points in the second half.
Ferguson finished with a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double, his third this year. Thomas ended up with 10 points, hitting 4-of-7 from the floor, and David Wagner (Dallas, Ga.) narrowly missed a double-double of his own with 10 rebounds and seven points.
The Bobcats shot 55 percent (24-44) from the floor, marking the fourth time Georgia College has shot 50 percent or better this season. The Bobcats hit 12 threes, compared to just five for LRU, and out-rebounded the Bears 31-27.
Forward Matt Kunz led four Bears in double-digit scoring with 19 points.
The Bobcats are back in action tomorrow, Dec. 29 at 1:30 p.m., finishing off the two-day tournament against Southern Wesleyan University.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 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.