AMERICUS - Georgia Southwestern sliced a 16-point deficit to five in the second half, but could get no closer as Albany State beat the Lady Hurricanes, 73-61, on Saturday afternoon in the second game of the Peach Belt Conference/Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Challenge held in the Storm Dome.
GSW falls to 3-2 overall this season while the Golden Rams improve to 3-1. Southwestern won the first three meetings between the schools after joining the NCAA ranks in 2006-07, but Albany State has come out on top the last two contests.
ASU jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead on Saturday, but the Lady Hurricanes responded with a 12-5 run to grab their only lead in the game at 14-13 with 12:19 left until the half. GSW was held scoreless over the next 7 1/2 minutes during which time they missed eight consecutive shots.
Jasmine McSwain stopped the bleeding with a 3-point basket at the 4:45 mark to pull Southwestern within 12 points (29-17).
The Lady Hurricanes trailed 38-24 at halftime.
Kourtney Alexander opened the second period with a layup to put ASU ahead by 16 points. That's when GSW began to chip away at the deficit. A layup by Shanedra Lockett pulled the Lady 'Canes within nine, 49-40, at the 13:19 mark. ASU built its lead back to 13 before Southwestern eventually cut the margin to five when McSwain drained another 3-pointer to make it a 57-52 game.
GSW trailed by five on two more occasions, the last coming with 4:20 to play (60-55). ASU connected on 7 of 9 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
ASU had two players finish with double-doubles. Keidra Green scored 23 while pulling down 10 rebounds and Artisha Holston added 12 points and grabbed a game-high 16 boards. Alexander chipped in 12 points.
The Golden Rams needed 16 fewer shot attempts to get to their 73 points as the Lady Hurricanes shot 35.8 percent from the field (24 of 67) while ASU connected on 29 of 51 to finish over 50 percent (56.9) for the game.
The Lady Hurricanes launched 20 shots from beyond the arc, but connected on only four. ASU held a substantial advantage on the glass as well, outrebounding GSW 42-30.
Southwestern looks to regroup on Sunday when it hosts Fort Valley State at 4 p.m. in the final game of the PBC/SIAC Challenge. FVSU lost to Columbus State, 98-79, in the opening game of the Challenge on Saturday.