AMERICUS - The Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team led wire to wire for the second consecutive game and defeated Flagler College, 71-57, on Wednesday evening in the Storm Dome.
GSW has not trailed in its last 80 minutes of play. The Hurricanes evened their overall record to 7-7 while improving to 2-5 in the Peach Belt Conference. Flagler was held 23 points below its season average, had a two-game winning streak snapped, and fell to 7-7 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
Southwestern scored the first seven points of the game to quickly build a cushion on Wednesday.
The Saints pulled within a point on three different occasions in the opening half with the last coming at the 11:13 mark after a layup from Desmond Gibson.
GSW proceeded to go on an 11-2 run, sparked by back-to-back layups from Josh Birchfield, for its first double-digit lead of the evening, 29-19, with 7:43 remaining before the break. Deric Rudolph drained a pair of 3-pointers over the final four minutes to help GSW take a 39-28 lead into the locker room.
The Hurricanes dialed up from long range for three of their first six field goals in the second half and when Deric Rudolph sank a 3-pointer with 11:22 left to play, GSW had built its largest lead of the game, 19 points, at 56-37.
Flagler answered with a late charge and pulled within seven after a 10-0 run.
A Darius Redding layup followed by a 3-pointer from Rudolph stopped the bleeding and GSW led by double-digits the rest of the way.
GSW shooters cooled off slightly in the second half after connecting on 16 of 29 field goal attempts (55.2%) over the opening 20 minutes. The Hurricanes finished with a higher shooting percentage (45.5%) than Flagler (43.1%) and dished out 10 more assists. The Hurricanes made 21 assists on 25 baskets. GSW won the rebounding battle as well, 26-22, and committed three fewer turnovers, 9-6.
Rudolph connected on 5 of 11 attempts from beyond the arc on the way to his 17-point evening. Redding pulled down seven rebounds, dished out a game-high six assists and matched Rudolph with 17 points. Kevin Burnell scored 11 points and Birchfield added 10.
Jerrell Oxendine paced Flagler and led all scorers with 21 points. Keshaun Hamilton chipped in 14 and Lydell Manigo grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Southwestern travels to USC Aiken on Saturday to face the Pacers at 7:30 p.m.