by Mark Jagord, sports information assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The Georgia College women's basketball team (15-5, 8-5 PBC) overcame a seven-point first-half deficit to beat Georgia Southwestern State University (8-13, 3-11 PBC), 76-62 Saturday afternoon at the Centennial Center. It was only the second time this season the team won a game when trailing at the half.
"It was one of those games where we found a way to win," said head coach Maurice Smith. "I thought that GSW did a great job of pressuring us into a lot of mistakes early on. We played good defense and settled down in the second half offensively, by playing smart and taking care of the ball much better."
Senior Brandi McKinney (Cincinnati) registered a double-double scoring 18 points and a career-high dozen boards. She also led the team in steals and matched a career-high with six, as the team now has back-to-back double-digit steals with 13 in each of the last two games.
Senior Abby Slocumb (Suwanee, Ga.) also matched a career-high in steals with three and had her fourth-consecutive three-block game this season as she passed the century mark with 101 career blocks.
Junior Shanteona Keys (Roswell, Ga.) led the team with 20 points and just missed a double-double of her own with nine rebounds. Keys moved up in three categories on the Georgia College all-time lists. She is currently No. 5 in free throws with 247, No. 7 in points at 1,168, and tied at No. 9 in threes at 127 with Beth Heyer (97-01).
The Bobcats also got solid performances from junior Belinda Schaafsma (Momence, Ill.) and freshman LaRice Walker (Franklin, Ga.). Schaafsma missed a career-high in points by one with 10 and added six boards. Walker scored 13 points, while adding four assists and rebounds.
The Bobcats held the edge early on, but an 11-point run by the Hurricanes midway through the first half allowed Georgia Southwestern to take a seven-point lead into the intermission.
It took the Bobcats almost seven minutes into the second half to take the lead at 45-44. From that point on Georgia College never trailed again. After another seven minutes of play, the Bobcats had their first double-digit lead and kept it until the final buzzer.
The Hurricanes were led by Shanedra Lockett with 17 points, while Jasmine McSwain and Shantoria Hudson each added 10.
Georgia College improves to 8-5 in conference play, remaining in fifth in a tough Peach Belt Conference West Division, where five of the seven teams have winning conference records. The top four in the division advance to the PBC Tournament in March.
The Bobcats' next matchup is at Clayton State University (15-5, 10-3 PBC) Wednesday, Feb. 12 for a PBC tilt starting at 5:30 p.m.
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 @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.