December 19, 2013

18th-Ranked Hurricanes Suffer First Loss Of Season

AMERICUS - The Fort Valley State men's basketball team erased a 12-point second half deficit and Joshuah Davis connected on a 3-point basket with 4.7 seconds remaining to upset No. 18 Georgia Southwestern, 73-70, on Thursday evening in the Storm Dome.

GSW drops to 10-1 this season while Fort Valley State improves to 4-5.

FVSU grabbed the lead early as the Wildcats jumped ahead 14-7 less than four minutes in. Brandon Davey threw down a dunk with 11:28 remaining in the half to give FVSU a 22-16 advantage. That's when the Hurricanes came to life.

Johathan Brooks' layup with 11:10 on the clock started a 16-0 run for GSW. Kevin Burnell tossed in a pair of 3-pointers during the rally and the Hurricanes kept FVSU off the scoreboard for more than five minutes.

A free throw by Darius Redding with 2:58 to go until the half gave GSW its biggest lead of the night (16 points) at 40-24. FVSU scored the final five points of the opening stanza and GSW took a 40-29 lead into the break.

The game was balanced the opening six minutes of the second half. A pair of free throws by Brooks with 13:52 to play gave GSW a 50-38 lead. FVSU chipped away and trimmed the margin to two points at 56-54 after a Davis 3-pointer with 8:23 remaining.

GSW pushed its advantage back to six points, 60-54, before the Wildcats rattled off six-unanswered points to even the game at 60-60.

The Hurricanes answered the run with one of their own, an eight-point rally capped by a Redding layup that put GSW ahead 68-60 with 4:27 to go.

Not to be outdone, FVSU regained the momentum and eventually tied the score at 70-70 with a just under a minute on the clock.

After a floating layup attempt from Derrick Dawkins bounced off the back of the iron for the Hurricanes, the stage was set for Davis' heroics.

GSW was unable to score the final 2:58 of the first half and final three minutes of the second.

Hurricane shooters were on target in the first half as GSW connected on 16 of 27 (59.3 percent) shots, including all five attempts from long range, but cooled off a bit over the final 20 minutes (40.9 percent). The reverse was true for FVSU. The Wildcats made 16 of 27 shots in the second half, but only 12 of 31 (38.7 percent) in the opening period. Overall, FVSU took nine more shots in the game than the Hurricanes.

GSW held a slight advantage in assists (13-12), steals (9-8) and blocks (6-5) but committed two more turnovers (18-16) and grabbed four fewer rebounds (33-29).

Redding finished a perfect 7 of 7 from the floor while adding 4 of 6 from the charity stripe to lead the Hurricanes with 18 points. Daryl Davis added 11 points, three blocks and a game-high eight rebounds. Burnell chipped in 11.

Davey led all scorers with 24 points. Davis finished with 14. Corey Hunter added 11 and Nigel Dominic dropped in 10 while pulling down a game-high eight rebounds.

The Hurricanes are off until Jan. 4 when they resume Peach Belt Conference play with a 3:30 p.m. contest at Young Harris College.

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