Win streak at seven after 66-58 victory at CSU
By CHRIS WHITAKER
COLUMBUS — And the streak continues.
But like Wednesday, Georgia Southwestern got down early and played lights out defensively to win at Columbus State, 66-58, on Saturday.
Phillip Brown continued his monster play, scoring 21 points and grabbing 15 rebounds as No. 21 GSW (13-3, 6-1) has won seven in a row going into Thursday's showdown at No. 3 Augusta State.
"We've got to figure some things out offensively," said coach Mike Leeder. "We're getting stagnant. We've had bad starts for two straight games, and there's some areas we have to tighten up before we play them on Thursday."
GSW fell behind 26-16 in the first half before making a rally to cut the deficit to 32-31 by halftime. The Hurricanes held the Cougars (7-8, 3-3) to 31.4 percent shooting in the second half.
Columbus State didn't help its cause, making 2 of 13 free throws in the second half. But the Cougars were still in the game until Brown's dunk put the Hurricanes up 60-55 with 50 seconds remaining.
It was Brown's sixth double-double in nine games.
"We quit rebounding, and they were getting some put backs," said Leeder. "It was very similar to watching the North Georgia game the other night. We had some trouble rebounding in the second half, and they kept hanging around. But once we took the lead, we never trailed, but we couldn't put it away.
"They didn't double Phillip; they let him go. He played great. He had some huge plays late with a couple of dunks and a couple of key blocks. He's as good as there is in the league. When you play him one-on-one, he's going to put up good numbers."
Jarmarquis Steverson led the Cougars with 13 points, and Steve Peterson added 11.
GSW shot 44 percent, but committed 16 turnovers. Leeder said they missed too many layups, and to compete with the Jaguars, a lot of kinks must be worked out.
"We're 3-0 in the league on the road, but we'll have to play a whole lot better to make that game competitive," he said. "We can't get down 10 and think we have a burst in the second half. It will be the biggest game in Division II depending on where we are when the rankings come out. We have to be much better Thursday night.
"We found a way to win the road, and because we defend, I believe we have a chance every game. We couldn't be happier."