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GSW men’s, women’s hoops teams both get great news on Tuesday

Georgia Southwestern men’s basketball star Phillip Brown, center, was named the Peach Belt Conference’s Player of the Week on Tuesday for the fourth time in two seasons. (Georgia Southwestern/Special to The Herald)

Georgia Southwestern men’s basketball star Phillip Brown, center, was named the Peach Belt Conference’s Player of the Week on Tuesday for the fourth time in two seasons. (Georgia Southwestern/Special to The Herald)

AMERICUS — There's a newcomer in the USA Today/ESPN NCAA Division II women's basketball coaches' poll. For the first time in school history, Georgia Southwestern has been listed among the nation's best.

The Lady Hurricanes received seven points in the poll, which was released Tuesday afternoon, just 64 points behind No. 25 Dowling College (N.Y.).

GSW joins defending national champion Clayton State (5th), USC Aiken (14th) and Lander (six points) as Peach Belt Conference schools recognized in this week's rankings.

The Lady Hurricanes (8-2, 1-1 PBC) have been idle since Dec. 14 when they dropped a 66-62 decision at No. 5 Clayton State.

Head coach Kelly Britsky has done an amazing job turning around a program that was 1-26 just four years ago.

GSW currently leads the Peach Belt in rebounding, 3-pointers per game and scoring average. Adrian Randall ranks third in the PBC in rebounding, fifth in total blocks and 11th in scoring. Terra Branch leads the PBC in free throw percentage and ranks third in scoring and 3-point field goal percentage.

Southwestern finally returns to action today, hosting Coastal Georgia at 5 p.m.

BROWN EARNS CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK — AGAIN: Georgia Southwestern senior Phillip Brown was named the Peach Belt Conference men’s basketball Player of the Week on Tuesday.

Brown averaged 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in two wins for the Hurricanes last week.

The All-American and reigning PBC Player of the Year opened with a career-high 26 points and nine rebounds against Lenoir-Rhyne, hitting 11 of 17 shots from the field. He followed that with 13 points and six rebounds in only 17 minutes of action against Coastal Georgia.

For the week, Brown hit 68 percent of his shots from the floor (15 of 22) and nine of 11 free throws. He added 1.5 steals and 1.0 assists per game.

The Jonesboro native leads the PBC in rebounding with 10.8 per contest, which ranks fifth nationally, is ninth in the league in scoring (17.4 ppg) and fourth in blocks.

This is the fourth POTW award for Brown, who received the honor three times last season.

Brown and the Hurricanes (9-2) return to the hardwood Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. contest at Lander.