GSW men atop PBC West after fifth straight victory

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

AMERICUS -- The Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team sits alone atop the west division of the Peach Belt Conference after winning a black-and-blue battle with UNC Pembroke, 61-39, at the Storm Dome on Sunday afternoon.

GSW held UNCP to 22.9 percent shooting, including 10 percent from beyond the arc.

The Hurricanes, winners of five straight and eight of their last nine, trailed early, falling behind 9-4 in the opening six minutes of the game.

Southwestern grabbed the lead for good with 8:49 remaining in the first half (21-18).

The margin grew to 11 points at the break (32-21) and eventually expanded to 22 (55-33) with 4:50 to play.

GSW finished the game shooting 34.8 percent from the floor. The teams combined for only 27 field goals.

However, the Hurricanes turned in an impressive performance from the charity stripe, sinking their first 21 free throws and finishing the game 23 of 25 from the line.

GSW converted 20 UNCP turnovers into 20 points, while the Braves picked up 12 points off of Hurricane miscues.

Evan Mobley led GSW with a game-high 13 points. Colin Slotter added 10. Phillip Brown grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Braves (11-4, 4-3 PBC) failed to have one player score in double figures. Chris Hargrove led UNCP with nine points. George Blakeney pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.

The Hurricanes have won four-consecutive PBC games (with a 17-point margin of victory).

It's a big difference from last year, when GSW won three conference games all season.

Meanwhile, it was UNCP's first loss by more than four points this season. The Braves entered the game averaging 81.0 points per game, which was third in the conference.

GSW (10-3, 4-1) returns to action on Wednesday, hosting North Georgia at 7:30 p.m.



AMERICUS -- Jessica Bivins scored a season-high 22 points to rally the Georgia Southwestern women's basketball team from a 14-point deficit to a 71-68 overtime victory over UNC Pembroke on Sunday afternoon at the Storm Dome.

UNCP jumped to the early lead with a 10-2 run to open the game. The Lady Braves eventually pushed the margin to 14 points (26-12) with 4:17 left in the first half.

A Bivins jumper with 23 seconds remaining in the half capped a 10-1 run and pulled GSW within five points (27-22) at the break.

Bivins struck again with a three-point basket at the 18:37 mark of the second period to give the Lady Hurricanes their first lead (29-28) since 1-0.

From there, the teams went back-and-forth, exchanging the lead ten times over the next 16 minutes.

A Tania Walters free throw with 2:06 on the clock gave the Lady 'Canes the lead once again, 57-56, and Nadirah Gardner extended the cushion to three points with her layup with 58 seconds remaining.

UNCP connected on four-consecutive free throws in the final minute to force overtime.

In the extra session, the Lady Braves held the lead briefly at 66-65, but Southwestern pulled ahead on a pair of Terra Branch free throws and sealed the win with another Bivins three-pointer.

UNCP (5-10, 1-6 PBC) shot 40 percent from the floor for the game, while GSW hit 38.4 percent.

The Lady Hurricanes controlled the boards with a 51-39 rebounding advantage and led in second-chance points, 23-17.

A trio of GSW players joined Bivins with double-digit scoring. Cierra Duhart added 11 points and nine rebounds. Walters and Gardner chipped in 10 points apiece.

JaToya Kemp led UNCP with 19 points and eight rebounds. Talena Faison scored 13 and Courtney Bolton added 10.

GSW (8-6, 2-3) returns to action on Wednesday with a PBC matchup against North Georgia at 5:30 p.m. in Americus.