AMERICUS - Johathan Brooks grabbed 11 second-half rebounds en route to his seventh double-double of the season and led the 18th-ranked Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team to a 80-68 win over UNC Pembroke on Friday evening in the Storm Dome.
GSW improved its record to 12-1 overall and 4-0 in the PBC. The Hurricanes are off to their best start in conference play in program history. UNC Pembroke dropped to 11-4 overall and 2-3 in PBC play.
The first half saw an 18-point swing. A Brooks layup with 10:05 left until the break put the Hurricanes up 27-17. A few minutes later a Redding jumper gave GSW its biggest lead of the opening stanza at 32-19. Momentum shifted to the visitors on the ensuing possession.
Jihad Wright hit a jumper for UNCP and, seconds after GSW turned the ball over by crossing the baseline on the inbounds throw, Brandon Winford was fouled while knocking down a jumper. Winford missed the free throw but gathered his own rebound and Quamain Rose drained a 3-pointer. In a matter of seconds a 13-point GSW lead was shaved to six.
UNCP rallied after that flurry, grabbed a five-point lead with a minute to go before the break and took a 40-37 lead into the locker room at half.
GSW did not trail for long. The Hurricanes opened the second half with a 15-1 run that saw a 3-pointer from Adrian Knight sandwiched between a pair of treys from Brooks.
The Braves would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way. A Jamon Hawkins layup with 5:18 to go gave GSW a 15-point lead, its largest lead of the night, at 68-53. The Hurricanes made 8 of 10 free throws in the closing minutes to seal the victory.
Southwestern shot 55 percent from the floor in the game while holding UNCP to 37 percent. The Braves took 26 more shots in the contest than GSW while the Hurricanes dished out five more assists (14-9) and held an advantage in points in the paint (26-20) and rebounds (42-38).
GSW had five players score in double figures. Redding led the Southwestern with 18 points. Hawkins added 16 while Alan Arnett hit 7 of 11 shots en route to his 15 points. Daryl Davis connected on 4 of 7 shot attempts and all four of his free throws to finish with 13 points. Brooks scored 11 and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
UNCP matched GSW with five scorers in double figures. Winford led the Braves with 14. Rose and Keysheen Hinton added 12 points apiece while Ben Jacobs and Wright each chipped in 10. Jacobs pulled down a team-best nine boards.
Southwestern hosts Francis Marion on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.