The Georgia College men's basketball team (6-7, 2-4 PBC) looks for a measure of revenge Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m. when they travel to the University of North Georgia (5-6, 2-3 PBC) for Peach Belt Conference (PBC) West Division action. The Bobcats lost 85-77 to the Nighthawks earlier this season. Georgia College is 2-4 in away games this season, and are 0-1 on Wednesday. Catch the action the HomeTeam Country102FM and ESPN 1450AM; GC Hall of Famer Scott MacLeod and sports information assistant Mark Jagord will bring you the call.
The Bobcats and Nighthawks met earlier this season in the Centennial Center, and the series stands at 39-33 in Georgia College's favor. The 33 wins are the most against any opponent on the schedule this season, and UNG has won two in a row.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE 'CATS
It took another 20-point game from Royal Thomas, a double-double from Larrentis Thomas and a clutch three from Ryan Blumenthal for Georgia College men's basketball (6-7, 2-4 PBC) to topple Young Harris College (9-3, 3-2 PBC) 81-78 Saturday at the Centennial Center.
Royal Thomas had 23 points, his third 20-point game in his last five outings. He added five assists, four boards and a pair of steals to fill the boxscore. Larrentis Thomas finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and kept the Bobcats in the game in the first half with a 16-point, six-board effort.
Terrell Harris added 14 points off the bench on 5-of-7 from the floor. Kelvin Nwanze delved into double-digit points for the first time in the freshman's career, scoring 11 and adding eight rebounds with two blocks in just 20 minutes of action.
Down 78-77 with less than a minute remaining, senior point guard Aaron Robinson penetrated the lane and then kicked out to Blumenthal to the right of the top of the key. The sophomore let it fly igniting the crowd and giving the Bobcats an 80-78 lead with 39 seconds left. Both teams traded possessions over the final seconds, with Georgia College adding a free-throw for the final 81-78 score. Robinson finished with a game-high six assists and Blumenthal added 10 points.
SCOUTING THE NIGHTHAWKS
The Nighthawks enter the game fourth in the PBC West Division, owning a 2-3 conference mark. UNG has dropped its last two, having not won since beating the Bobcats in Milledgeville. The Nighthawks are potent on offense, averaging 88.5 points per game, ranking tops in the conference. UNG has trouble on the other end of the floor, ranking dead last in the PBC by giving up 87.0 points per game. UNG also ranks tops in field goal shooting (.492) and three-point shooting this season (.413).
Ishmael Hollis is leading the PBC in scoring at 21.5 points per game and makes a strong case for PBC Player of the Year by ranking second with 10.5 rebounds per contest. He is flanked by 13.5 points per game from long-distance marksman Lamar Richardson.
LAST TIME AGAINST UNG
Senior Royal Thomas matched his career-high with 26 points in an 85-77 loss for Georgia College men's basketball (5-6, 1-3 PBC) to the University of North Georgia (5-4, 2-1 PBC) Jan. 4 at the Centennial Center.
Royal Thomas went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line, adding a 9-for-13 effort from the field for his 26 points, adding five rebounds. He set his career high three games ago against the College of Coastal Georgia. The senior guard had 19 points in the second half.
Sophomore Terrell Harris was the only other Bobcat with double-figure scoring with 10 points and seven rebounds. It was Harris' eighth-straight game in double figures. Junior Larrentis Thomas tied for the team lead with seven boards, also needing nine points to eclipse the 100-point mark for the season. Freshman Matt Polyne provided a nice spark with nine points in 10 minutes off the bench.
The Nighthawks shot the lights out, hitting for 52 percent (27-52) to just 40 percent (27-68) for the Bobcats. UNG made five more threes (9-4) and three more free-throws (22-19) to provide the difference. Georgia College controlled the boards 41-34, including an 18-10 advantage on the offensive glass.
Head coach Terry Sellers begins his 21st season at the helm of the Bobcat basketball team, owning a 345-228 (.602) record on the GC bench. Sellers picked up his 200th career PBC win against UNC Pembroke Jan. 3, 2013. He could pick up his 350th Georgia College win as early as Jan. 29 against Clayton State University at home.
CAN I HELP YOU?
Against the College of Coastal Georgia Dec. 22, senior point guard Aaron Robinson tallied an impressive 11 assists, just two off the school record set by Shejdie Childs in the 2006-07 season. The last time a Bobcat had more than 11 assists was Ty Rowland's 12 in the 2008-09 campaign. In the NCAA era of GC men's basketball, only Childs, Rowland and Bryan Harrison have recorded more than 11 assists in a game.
In that game alone, Robinson passed both Keb Burley and Marcus Langston to take ninth in Georgia College history for career assists. Robinson's now stands at 241, ranking 16 behind Childs and eighth place all-time. At his current rate of 3.9 assists per game, Robinson would pass Childs in seven games, or Jan. 29 at home against Clayton State University.
"FREE" - STYLE
Ryan Blumenthal is 37-for-41 from the free-throw line this season, hitting for a 90.2 percentage. Should this torrid pace hold up for the sophomore, he will edge the school record of 89.5 set by Mike Brown during the 1995-96 season. Brown went 85-for-95 that year. In order to qualify for the percentage mark, a player must average 2.5 attempts per game, and Blumenthal is at 2.8 per contest right now.
Senior guard Royal Thomas continues to show marked improvement over his previous efforts, closing his career with a bang. He already has posted 11 games with 10-plus scoring, where in his previous three seasons he had just six total. He put up 26 against Coastal Georgia, matched that number against North Georgia, and also had his first double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against Albany State. His 14.5 points per game are 8.5 more per contest than last season, and 5.2 rebounds are 2.5 more than last year.
The Bobcats return home to take on GRU Augusta Monday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. It will mark the first meeting for the teams since the move to GRUA.