GSW Opens Conference Play With Road Win

AUGUSTA, Ga. - The Georgia Southwestern women's basketball team erased a 14-point first half deficit and defeated Georgia Regents University Augusta, 62-58, in the Peach Belt Conference opener for both schools on Thursday afternoon in Christenberry Fieldhouse.

The Lady Hurricanes improved their record to 7-1 overall, 1-0 in the PBC while GRU Augusta fell to 1-7, 0-1 in conference play.

GRU opened up its largest lead of the game when a 12-0 run put the Jaguars ahead 20-6 with 12:06 remaining in the first half. The Lady Hurricanes missed 10 consecutive shots during that cold stretch. Yvonna Dunkley drained a 3-pointer with 9:39 left until the break to pull GSW within 11 points and end the drought. Camille Gee answered with a 3-point basket on the other end before the Lady Hurricanes went on a run of their own.

GSW outscored GRU, 13-2, over the next six minutes with a run sparked by 3-pointers from Dunkley and Kenyona Armstrong to pull within a point, 25-24. That's as close as GSW could get before the intermission as the Jaguars led 36-30 at the half.

The Lady Hurricanes scored nine of the first 11 points of the second period to regain the lead for the first time since Tiara Thompson opened the game with a basket to put GSW ahead, 2-0.

From there it was a street fight as neither side could get a definitive edge. The teams tied four times and swapped the lead four more times down the strech with neither side ahead by more than four points until the closing minutes.

Emily Russ sank a jumper with 2:38 remaining to put GSW on top by five, 59-54, and Shatoria Hudson made a shot with 1:33 left to extend the Lady Hurricanes lead to 61-55.  

The two sides finished close to each other in shooting percentage, 44.6% for GSW compared to 43.2% for GRU, but the Lady Hurricanes took a dozen more shots, 56-44. The Jaguars won the rebounding battle, 39-27, but were forced into nine more turnovers, 25-16, by the GSW defense.

Thompson and Hudson scored 11 points apiece to pace the Lady Hurricanes. Thompson added a team-best six rebounds and four assists. Dunkley and Russ came off the bench to chip in 10 points apiece. Dunkley made 3 of 4 shots from beyond the arc. 

Gee led all scorers with 28 points. Gee was 4 of 5 shooting from 3-point range and 8 of 9 from the free throw line for GRU. Kariel Hutt posted a double-double for the Jaguars with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Southwestern plays its final game of 2014 on Saturday at Lander. Tip is set for 1:30 p.m.