Don't Look Now, But GSW Opening 2018 Strong

Don't Look Now, But GSW Opening 2018 Strong

AMERICUS, Ga. -- Hasaan Buggs posted his third straight double-double while Andre Statam scored a team-high 22 points to lead the Georgia Southwestern State University men's basketball team past Georgia College in overtime, 85-82, Wednesday evening in the Storm Dome. The Hurricanes improved to 6-3 overall and picked up their second consecutive Peach Belt Conference win (2-3) while Georgia College fell to 7-4, 3-2 in the PBC.

How It Happened: It took the Hurricanes over four minutes to score their first basket, but they recovered from a slow start, erased a seven-point deficit and took their first lead, 16-15, with 8:55 remaining in the first half. GSW carried a five-point advantage into the halftime break, 37-32.

The Hurricanes stretched their lead to a game-high 10 points when R.J. Sessions drained a 3-pointer at the 16:45 mark to make the score 48-38. Georgia College answered with a 20-8 run over the next five minutes to briefly regain the lead, but GSW jumped back out front and Statam sank a 3-pointer with 5:01 to go that pushed the GSW lead to six, 69-63. Buggs eventually made it an eight-point game with his layup at the three minute mark, but Georgia College connected on all three of its ensuing 3-point attempts down the stretch, including the last from Jordan Thomas with 38 seconds left to tie the game at 76-76. Thomas had a chance to give the Bobcats the lead with six seconds remaining, after GSW came up empty on the offensive end, but the front end of his bonus rolled in and out giving GSW one final opportunity to win the game in regulation. A fadeaway from the corner by Quenten Taylor as time expired drew iron but bounced out.

In the extra session, Buggs opened the scoring with a layup and Sessions followed with a 3-pointer to keep the small edge in favor of the Hurricanes. The largest lead in overtime was three points, and that was the margin as the final horn sounded. 

Georgia College came into the game the PBC leader in scoring defense, holding opponents to 63.9 points per game, and opponent's field goal percentage at 39.3 percent. GSW shot 45.6 percent on Wednesday and scored a season-best 85 points, although aided by the extra five minutes of overtime. The Hurricanes forced three more turnovers (13-10), which led to a plus-five advantage in points off turnovers (11-6), and grabbed five more rebounds (46-41). 

Who Stood Out: Sessions made 6 of 9 shots, including 3 of 4 from long range, en route to his 19 points. He made all four of his free throw attempts, grabbed seven rebounds and tied for the game high with three steals. Buggs stat line included 16 points, a game-high 12 rebounds and two blocks. Statam made it back-to-back games with at least 20 points. Taylor dished out six assists and added 12 points. 

Up Next: GSW travels to Young Harris College on Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. contest before returning to Americus for three consecutive home games.