AMERICUS, Ga. -- Devin Watson made 8 of 11 shots and scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Georgia Southwestern State University men's basketball team to a season sweep of Young Harris College with a 74-72 win in the Storm Dome on Sunday afternoon. Hasaan Buggs posted his ninth double-double of the season for the Hurricanes, who had yet to win both games of a home-and-home season series with Young Harris since the schools began competing against each other in 2013.
GSW improved to 11-8 overall and picked up its seventh Peach Belt Conference win (7-8) while Young Harris suffered its second consecutive loss, and third loss in its last four games, to fall to 6-15 overall, 5-10 in the PBC. The win completes GSW's first home-and-home sweep of a conference opponent since 2014-15.
Ben Waterhouse and Nicksen Blanc scored 16 points apiece to lead Young Harris.
How It Happened: It took the Hurricanes nearly three minutes to score their first points of the game, a layup by Andre Statam, but Young Harris was just as cold out of the gate. The Mountain Lions scored their first field goal of the afternoon at the 16:26 mark, a layup by Waterhouse, to momentarily regain the lead, 3-2.
As hard as it was to come by their first bucket of the game, the second was just as hard as the Hurricanes didn't score again until 13:45 was left before the halftime break. A layup by R.J. Sessions pulled GSW within three points, 7-4. The Hurricanes largest deficit was six points in the opening session, and a converted three-point play by Statam inside the final 30 seconds evened the score, 30-30, at the end of the first half.
GSW opened the second half with seven unanswered points, the first two coming on a dunk by Buggs and the next five from Watson, and never looked back. The Hurricanes built their lead to a game-high 12 points, 55-43, midway through the half but had to hold off a Young Harris comeback in the closing minutes. Jason Weaver put GSW ahead, 68-57, with a 3-pointer with 2:47 to play, but the Mountain Lions pulled to within three points in the closing seconds. Statam delivered on a pair of clutch free throws with seven seconds to go to seal the victory.
Young Harris pulled down five more rebounds than GSW (38-33), while assists (11), turnovers (15) and points off turnovers (16) were all even. GSW made 30 of 59 shots to finish over 50 percent (50.8) for the sixth time this season. Young Harris was held to 44.6 percent shooting.
Who Stood Out: Buggs couldn't have been much more efficient on the offensive end, connecting on 8 of 10 shots, in his 17-point performance. He led all players in rebounds (12), steals (5) and blocks (4). It was the first time a GSW player had five steals in a game since Darius Redding on Dec. 1, 2014. Sessions added 11 points and John Mason came off the bench to chip in 10.
Up Next: GSW kicks off a three-game road trip on Wednesday at Columbus State (6-12, 6-9 PBC). Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.