LOCAL COLLEGE ROUNDUP: ASU hoops split with Tuskegee

ALBANY — Albany State ended its losing streak in an impressive way Saturday by knocking off the conference’s top team.

Justin Wilcox scored a team-high 15 points to lead the Rams to a much-needed, 69-63, victory against Tuskegee.

The conference victory snapped a two-game losing streak for the Rams (9-10, 8-9), who had lost four of five entering the game.

Jaren Harris and Demarcus Blunt also got into double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Joshua Eichelberger scored a game-high 22 points for Tuskegee (11-7, 11-5), which entered the game all alone in first place in the conference.

ASU is near the bottom of the conference, but a few wins could bump the Rams all the way to the top of the tightly-bunched standings.

The Rams play again Tuesday at home against Clark Atlanta immediately after the women’s game.

ASU WOMEN LOSE: The Albany State women fell even further under .500 Saturday with a 70-68 overtime loss to Tuskegee.

With the loss, the Lady Rams are now 7-13 overall and 7-9 in conference play.

Former Bainbridge star April Thomas led ASU with 28 points and four assists, while Kourtney Alexander and Breanna Fields each added 10 points. Precious Peak grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds and scored eight points.

The Lady Rams took a four-point lead into halftime but were outscored 38-34 in the second half. Tuskegee (14-5, 11-4) edged ASU, 8-6, in the overtime period.

The Lady Rams, who have now lost three in a row and five of their last six, play again Tuesday at home against Clark Atlanta.

DARTON WINS 6TH STRAIGHT: Darton easily beat Atlanta Metro on Saturday, 72-53, to win its sixth game in a row and improve to 15-6 overall and 10-3 in Region XVII.

The Lady Cavs, who are now tied for second place in the region with Georgia Perimeter, were led by Michelle Mitchell’s 20 points and 14 rebounds.

Christina Brown added 13 points, and Chan Fann had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Freshman Crystal Reed came off the bench to have her best game of the season. The 6-foot-6 center scored 11 points in eight rebounds and was a presence in the middle for a Darton team that outrebounded Atlanta Metro, 59-31.

“We are playing well,” Darton coach Lea Henry said. “We have a lot of different people stepping up and playing well. Everybody is getting better, and that has made our team better. We are playing well together.”

The Lady Cavs play again Thursday at home against Andrew.

LADY CAVS STAY UNBEATEN: Darton improved to 6-0 with a pair of wins in its own tournament Saturday in Leesburg.

The Lady Cavs beat Georgia Military College, 7-0, in the opener and then topped Wallace Dothan, 8-3, in the nightcap to finish a perfect 4-0 in the tournament.

In the opener, Katy Jordan picked up her third win of the season with a complete-game two-hitter. Sophomore Chantelle Curinton belted a three-run home run in the fifth inning that gave Darton a 7-0 lead.

In the second game, freshman Jenny Willis recorded her second win of the season after falling behind early. Wallace took a 3-2 lead into the third inning before Curinton hit a two-run double, scoring Chelsea Showers and Amanda Jaskolski. The bases-clearing double put the Lady Cavs back on top for good.

Darton plays again next weekend in the Faulkner State Tournament in Bay Minette, Ala.

The Lady Cavs will then host Middle Georgia on Feb. 15 in their home opener.

GSW SPLITS SEASON OPENER: It was opening day for Georgia Southwestern baseball, and the 2012 season began with a hearty challenge — No. 16 Barry University.

The Hurricane arms kept the visitors’ bats at bay for the most part as Georgia Southwestern split their doubleheader, with a 4-3 loss in the opener and a 7-0 win in the second game.

Senior pitcher Trent Franzago got things going for the Hurricanes in the first game. The Fort Valley native threw six innings of scoreless ball while scattering three hits and striking out four. His shutout was carried over by fellow senior Cameron Blinn in the seventh inning as the Hurricanes led 2-0. The lead came courtesy of a Corey Benson run on a wild pitch and Blane Parker’s RBI single in the fifth inning.

Barry’s bats would come alive in a big way in the eighth inning as they would score all four of their runs in the inning. The plethora of runs in the eighth was kicked off by a pair of RBI singles from Sheehan Planas and James Young for the visitors.

In the second game, the Hurricanes’ starting pitching would pick up right where Trent Franzago had left off and then some. Senior Matt Weaver got it going for the Hurricanes on the mound as he took a no-hitter into the seventh and final inning before surrendering his first hit.

Weaver finished the nightcap allowing only one hit, five walks and three strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings of work. The Elko native earned the win and got Georgia Southwestern its first win of the season with the help of seven runs of support from the Hurricane bats.

After being quiet during the first two innings, Georgia Southwestern struck first via a three-run third inning. In the fourth, GSW would put up more runs. Third baseman Blane Parker drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to center and shortstop John Duran registered his first RBI of the season driving in Michael Sneed. The inning was capped off by a two-run Michel Coffey home run over the left field fence to give the Hurricanes the 7-0 lead.

LADY HURRICANES WIN BIG: Three days after righting the ship with a 19-point victory against North Georgia, the Georgia Southwestern Lady Hurricanes earned their second-biggest conference victory of the season with a 72-47 win against the Georgia College Bobcats (4-16, 2-9 PBC).

Gaurds Tania Walters, Terra Branch and Jessica Bivins each scored 15 points for GSW, which improved to 14-6 overall and 6-5 in conference action.