Seeing Double; Canes Pick Up First Conference Victory

Seeing Double; Canes Pick Up First Conference Victory

AMERICUS, Ga. -- R.J. Sessions and Hasaan Buggs posted double-doubles while Andre Statam scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Georgia Southwestern State University men's basketball team past Lander University, 76-74, Saturday afternoon in the Storm Dome. The Hurricanes improved to 5-3 overall and picked up their first Peach Belt Conference win (1-3) while Lander fell to 5-6, 1-4 in the PBC.

How It Happened: In a back-and-forth first half, the schools swapped the lead nine times before GSW grabbed the advantage on a 3-pointer by Devin Watson with 6:32 left and stretched its lead to seven points before settling in for halftime ahead by five, 34-29.

The Hurricanes came out of the break on an 8-3 run to stretch the margin to double digits (42-32) with 16:58 to play, but as was the case in the first half, back-and-forth the teams went. Lander chipped away at the deficit and regained the lead, 51-50, on a jumper by Rahu Purdie with 10 1/2 minutes remaining. The Bearcats built their advantage to a team-best nine points, 67-58, over the ensuing six minutes, but it was GSW who would make the final push.

The Hurricanes forced five turnovers over the closing 3:39 following a timeout called by head coach Ben Hicks, including two steals by Jason Weaver. The freshman, Weaver, made his lone basket of the game at a clutch moment when he put GSW back on top with a 3-pointer inside the final minute. Quenten Taylor knocked down a pair of free throws on the Hurricanes next possession to stretch the lead to four points, 75-71, with 21 seconds remaining.

Despite allowing Lander to shoot 63 percent over the final 20 minutes, GSW did enough on the defensive end to rally for the win. The Hurricanes forced six more turnovers (17-11) in the game, which led to a plus-eight advantage in points off turnovers (20-12). 

Who Stood Out: Statam made 9 of 13 shots en route to his 21 points. Sessions grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and finished with 15 points. Buggs stat line included 11 rebounds, 10 points and three blocks. Weaver made all eight of this free throw attempts and finished with 11 points off the bench. Watson chipped in 10 points. 

Up Next: GSW hosts Georgia College on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.