AIKEN, S.C. - Georgia College & State University's (21-8) bid for a fifth Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament title fell short in the semifinal round Saturday as the Bobcats lost 66-61 to No. 17 Francis Marion University (26-3) at the USCA Convocation Center.
The Bobcats found themselves up at the half with some spectacular first-half shooting, hitting 56 percent (14-25) from the floor en route to a 30-22 halftime advantage. The second half was a complete turnaround as the Bobcat shooting cooled off, and it was FMU hitting 50 percent (16-32).
"We tried hard and lost," said GCSU head coach John Carrick. "You're not going to win too many games shooting free-throws like we did. We shot enough to put us in a position to win."
Junior guard Dominique Huffin (Tucker, Ga.) provided the scoring punch for GCSU, putting in 20 points off the bench, a season-high. All-PBC Second Team guard Chimere Jordan (Gray, Ga.) struggled from the field at 7-of-19, but turned it on late for a 17-point performance. All-PBC Third Team forward Antoinette Reames (Orlando, Fla.) had her ninth double-double of the season, tallying a game- and career-high 17 boards to go with 14 points.
The Patriots got more balanced distribution, as nine players reached the scoring column, led by Shana Franks off the bench with 15. Nicole Mealing had 12 and All-PBC Second teamer Eboni Fields 10. The Bobcats held All-PBC First Team selection Shannon Singleton-Bates to just seven points, nearly 10 under her average. PBC Defensive Player of the Year Robin Colbert had an outstanding line of nine points, eight rebounds, seven assists and seven steals.
The ‘Cats turned the ball over 26 times, but controlled the glass 46-33, including a 20-13 margin on the offensive boards. The difference for the Bobcats really came at the free-throw line, where Georgia College hit just 31 percent (4-13) a season-low.
The Bobcats now await the NCAA Tournament selection show, hosting a viewing party of the NCAA.com online show Sunday, March 7 at 8:30 p.m.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.