GAMEDAY: Bobcat Men Head to the Mountains and Young Harris Saturday
The Georgia College men's basketball team (7-9, 3-6 PBC) looks to break a five-game road slide Saturday, Jan. 25 at 3:30 p.m. when they travel to Peach Belt Conference (PBC) West Division foe Young Harris College (10-5, 4-4 PBC). Catch the action on 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 own a 3-2 mark in Saturday games this season.
The Bobcats lead the youngest of conference series with YHC 2-1. The Bobcats took the meeting 81-78 in the Centennial Center this year, and are looking for the first sweep in series history.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE 'CATS
Charged with the tall order of taking down the top two teams in the PBC in the same week, the Georgia College men's basketball (7-9, 3-6 PBC) upset bid fell short to No. 13 USC Aiken (16-2, 8-0 PBC), 91-70 Wednesday at the Centennial Center.
The Bobcats jumped out hot, leading for the first 15:59 of the game. Their lead reached as high as nine on three different occasions, including 16-7 on a Royal Thomas free throw with 10:21 left.
The Pacers then went on a 30-10 run that nearly took them to halftime. After getting its first lead at the 3:11 mark left in the first half, USCA would never surrender the advantage.
Georgia College was led by 21 points from senior Royal Thomas, his fourth 20-point game this season. Classmate Aaron Robinson added 14 points and three assists running the offense, matching his season high in scoring.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAIN LIONS
The Mountain Lions enter the game third in the PBC West Division, owning a 4-4 conference mark. YHC has dropped three of their last four, including a 67-66 loss at Lander University Monday. The Mountain Lions are second in the PBC in scoring, averaging 84.3 points per game, but rank 10th in scoring defense (76.0). They are the third-best squad in both rebounds (41.0) and assists (15.9).
It's a balanced scoring attack for YHC, with guard Isaiah Johnson the lone scorer in the PBC top-10 at 15.7 points per game (ninth). The Mountain Lions put four in double-digit scoring average on the season, with Herdie Lawrence at 13.7 points per contest.
LAST TIME AGAINST YHC
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 Jan. 11 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.
Head coach Terry Sellers begins his 21st season at the helm of the Bobcat basketball team, owning a 346-230 (.601) 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 Feb. 5 at home against the University of Montevallo.
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 258, ranking 22 behind Harrison and seventh place all-time. At his current rate of 4.3 assists per game, Robinson would pass Harrison in six games, or Feb. 12 at Clayton State University.
"FREE" - STYLE
Ryan Blumenthal is 50-for-55 from the free-throw line this season, hitting for a 90.9 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 3.1 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 14 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 15.0 points per game are 9.0 more per contest than last season, and 5.2 rebounds are 2.5 more than last year.
The Bobcats return home Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. to host Clayton State University for "Salute to America Night"