COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Georgia College women's basketball team's (18-11) bid for an eighth Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament title came to a close Sunday afternoon in a 60-49 loss to host Columbus State University (21-7).
Georgia College had a 24-19 halftime lead in a defensive battle, but a cold stretch in the second half did in the Bobcats' hopes.
"A lot of people said we wouldn't be able to make it this far," said head coach Maurice Smith of falling in the title game. "I'm proud of the effort and the fight these young ladies had all this week. We took down some big teams, playing hard and doing it the right way."
Senior guard Brandi McKinney (Cincinnati) led the Bobcats with 12 points, adding four steals. Junior Shanteona Keys (Roswell, Ga.) added 11 points with nine rebounds and three assists. Freshman guard LaRice Walker (Franklin, Ga.) had nine points to go with five boards. Both McKinney and Keys earned PBC All-Tournament Team distinction.
The Bobcats went for a 6:38 stretch in the second half, unable to hit a field goal and netting just one free throw, kick-starting Columbus State's comeback. CSU went on a 20-9 run over the final eight minutes to take over the game.
Asha Alexander finished with 19 points, Chatil Bradford added 17 and Tae Smith 11 to lead the charge for the Cougars.
CSU started off strong with the first five points of the contest, but the Bobcats responded. Georgia College quickly went on a 22-6 run to nab its largest lead of the contest at 11 points, capped by a McKinney free throw at the 6:05 mark in the first half.
The Bobcats now await the NCAA Southeast Region Tournament selection announcement, set for tonight on www.NCAA.com. The Bobcats will hope that wins over two of the top teams in the region will catapult them into one of the five at-large bids for the region.
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.