LOCAL COLLEGE HOOPS ROUNDUP: GSW men end 2011 with a 90-57 victory

GREENWOOD, S.C. – Georgia Southwestern made a big impression on a Peach Belt Conference rival’s home floor.

The Hurricanes won their second consecutive game at the Bearcat Holiday Classic Friday afternoon, using an 18-1 run early in the second half en route to a 90-57 victory against the College of Coastal Georgia at Horne Arena on the campus of Lander University.

The Hurricanes shot 63 percent from the floor including 70 percent in the second half and improved to 9-2 on the season.

Coastal Georgia dropped to 2-13.

GSW finished 2-0 at the BHC and never trailed in the tournament, which included Thursday’s 68-52 victory against Lenoir-Rhyne.

The Hurricanes return to Lander on Jan. 7 to play the Bearcats in a PBC game.

Milos Kleut led GSW with 16 points Friday, Tyler Gunnett came off the bench to score all 14 of his points in the second half, and Marlon Rivera (6-for-6) and Phillip Brown (4-for-5) were nearly perfect from the floor in scoring 13 points apiece. Brown scored 39 points in the two tournament games.

Colin Slotter had a pair of dunks during the second-half flurry and finished with eight points for GSW, while Evan Mobley also scored eight. Kleut led the Hurricanes with seven rebounds, Bobby Glover paced GSW with five assists, Mobley led the team with four steals, and Brown blocked two shots.

GSW has won six-consecutive neutral site games during the regular season, including all four matchups this year, and finishes 2011 with a perfect 9-0 nonconference record.

The Hurricanes play PBC games the rest of the way, beginning with the Jan. 7 contest at Lander.

CHIPOLA WOMEN 56, DARTON 51: The Lady Cavs played right with the 13th ranked team in the nation, but Chipola pulled away in the final seconds to hand Darton its third loss this month by five or fewer points.

“It was a good game for us,” Darton coach Lea Henry said. “We had a chance to beat them. We had a chance down the stretch to win the game.”

The game was tied with 19 seconds to go, but the Lady Cavs (7-4) couldn’t find a bucket in the closing moments and Chipola knocked down its free throws.

Michelle Mitchell led the way for Darton with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Lauren Johnson added 11 points.

The game was the opener of the Lady Jets Classic in Americus. Darton plays its second and final game in the classic at noon today against Northwest Florida, which is ranked No. 2 in the nation.

HILLSBOROUGH WOMEN 62, ALBANY TECH 58: Move over Jamorris Gaines and make room for Shakima Wiggins.

Two days after Gaines, an Albany Tech sophomore and former Worth County star, scored 36 points to set a new program record, Wiggins raised the bar.

The 5-foot-6 Lady Titan sophomore scored 38 points in Friday’s loss.

“She was hot early. She hit about four 3s in the first half,” Albany Tech coach Kenneth Williams said. “We kept trying to feed her the ball. She really carried us to the end.”

The Lady Titans (10-2) led by two points at the half, and Williams said he warned them about not coming out flat in the second half.

“And that’s exactly what happened,” said Williams, whose Lady Titans had won two in a row coming into the game.

Also for Albany Tech, sophomore Bianca Fennessee had seven points and 20 rebounds.

NORTHWEST FLORIDA WOMEN 65, SOUTH GEORGIA TECH 60: Coach Brandan Harrell’s Lady Jets were on the brink of knocking off the No. 2 team in the nation.

But then there was a turnover — followed by a couple of missed block outs. Miscues in the final minutes cost South Georgia Tech a chance at claiming a marquee victory that Harrell said his team had in its grasp but let go.

“You just have to grow up and make the plays that you are supposed to make,” Harrell said. “We turned it over a ton (23 times) and you just cant do that and win big games.”

South Georgia Tech (7-8) led by four points at halftime and was tied with Northwest Florida with just over a minute to play.

“We had a couple of chances to win it, and we didn’t get a couple of block outs and had a couple of turnovers late, and it’s one of those things where you catch a team like this at home and you have a chance to win or put it away, and we didn’t make plays,” Harrell said.

Shanique Holston led the Lady Jets with 19 points, while Shontae McCall had 14 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and Inna Leja had 10 points.

The Lady Jets will finish up play in their own Lady Jets Classic at 2 p.m. today against Chipola.