AMERICUS - Playing in their final home game, seniors Milos Kleut and Matt Shaw led the Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team to a 92-80 win over North Georgia on Saturday night in the Storm Dome. Kleut finished with his third double-double of the season, posting a career-high 22 points to go with a game-high 11 rebounds. Shaw added 20 points to mark his fourth game with at least 20 points this season.
The Hurricanes even their record at 13-13 overall while improving to 9-10 in the Peach Belt Conference. North Georgia finishes the regular season at 15-11 and 10-9 in the PBC.
UNG grabbed a brief lead out of the gates on Saturday. The Saints pulled ahead by five points for their largest lead of the night at 7-2 with 16:41 remaining before the half.
After a 30 second timeout to talk things over, GSW answered with an 18-3 run sparked by a pair of 3-point baskets from Jamon Hawkins to open a 10-point lead, 20-10.
The Hurricanes connected on 8 of 10 free throws during an ensuing 8-0 run to stake a 34-20 advantage where UNG was held scoreless for a three-minute stretch leading up to halftime. GSW took a 46-38 lead into the break.
UNG pulled within five points in the opening minutes of the second half, but could get no closer. The Hurricanes kept the lead in double digits during most of the stretch run.
Perhaps the loudest ovation came in the final seconds of the ballgame when senior Bobby Glover, who played eight minutes in November before tearing his ACL, narrowly missed a shot from the corner as time expired in his brief return on Senior Night.
In a game that saw a combined 49 personal fouls and three technical fouls, the Hurricanes saw plenty of time at the charity stripe. GSW drained a season-high 33 free throws on 40 attempts. Kleut connected on a career-best 12 of 14 and Hawkins hit a career-high 9 of 10. North Georgia saw its fair share too, making 24 of 29 attempts.
GSW finished with three players over 20 points. Hawkins joined Kleut and Shaw with his 22-point night. Alan Arnett was only a point away from making it four in the club as he finished with 19 while hitting 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.
The Hurricanes improved to 9-3 this season when shooting over 50 percent. On Saturday, GSW made 26 of 29 shots to finish at 53.1 percent for the game.
Southwestern led the Saints in rebounding, 36-30, and bench points, 48-25.
Lamar Richardson scored 16 points to lead UNG. Scott Windom added 15, Chris Tanzy chipped in 12 and Ishmael Hollis came off the bench to score 11.
GSW takes on UNC Pembroke in the first round of the PBC Tournament on Friday at 5 p.m. in Columbus.