MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – A second half rally fell just short, as the Georgia College men's basketball team (8-14, 4-11 PBC) dropped a crucial Peach Belt Conference (PBC) battle to Clayton State University (12-11, 8-8 PBC) 66-62 Thursday in the Centennial Center.
The Bobcat men chipped away at a big Clayton lead in the second half, even cutting it to two points with just under 20 seconds left after a big three-pointer in the corner from Scott Ferguson (Roswell, Ga.). After an amazing defensive effort forced Clayton State into back-to-back timeouts, junior Royal Thomas (LaGrange, Ga.) then stole the ball with 15 ticks left.
After Clayton's Omari Murray blocked a potential game-tying shot, the Bobcats turned it over with four seconds remaining. Murray eventually put it out of reach with two free throws.
The Lakers held off the rally thanks in large part to 30 points from Murray. Junior guard Thomas led the Bobcats in scoring with a career-high 17 points, including 12 in the second half. Classmate Aaron Robinson (Lawrenceville, Ga.) added 11 and freshman Robert Armstrong posted 10 points with four rebounds and three steals. Ferguson finished with a team-high 10 rebounds and seven points.
Georgia College was out-shot 39 percent (24-62) to 42 percent (23-55) from the floor. The bench helped keep the Bobcats in the game, out-scoring the Laker reserves 30-5.
Murray added nine rebounds to his effort, including a 12-for-19 shooting line. Andrew Bachanov provided a 10-point, 14-rebound double-double.
The loss dips the Bobcats to 4-11 in conference play, positioned seventh in the PBC West Division, with the top four advancing to the PBC Tournament in March. Georgia College is three games out of the coveted fourth spot, with four contests left on the schedule.
The Bobcats are back in action Saturday, Feb. 16 at 3:30 p.m., traveling to Columbus State University (11-12, 6-10 PBC). The Cougars most recently beat Augusta State University 82-68 tonight.
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 www.twitter.com/BobcatSports and www.facebook.com/gcbobcats for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GC Athletics Hall of Fame.