Conference Leader Shuts Down GSW In 2nd Half, Snaps Win Streak

Conference Leader Shuts Down GSW In 2nd Half, Snaps Win Streak

AMERICUS, Ga. -- The Georgia Southwestern State University men's basketball team saw its five-game win streak snapped by the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, 78-57, Monday afternoon in the Storm Dome. Despite playing the Peach Belt Conference leaders even for the opening 20 minutes, GSW shooters went ice cold in the second half and were held to 20 percent shooting and 20 points. The Hurricanes watched their record drop to 9-4 overall and 5-4 in the PBC while UNC Pembroke won its seventh straight game to improve to 12-3, 8-1 in the PBC. It was the Hurricanes first loss in 27 days when they lost at UNC Pembroke, 83-71.   

How It Happened: The first half was a back-and-forth affair as the teams were tied on nine occasions, GSW led four times and neither side was ahead by more than five points.

The Hurricanes grabbed their first lead at the 12-minute mark when Devin Watson drained a 3-pointer to make the score 9-7. It was R.J. Sessions who delivered the 3-pointer to momentarily put GSW up, 22-19, with 6:02 on the clock. The final GSW lead of the afternoon, 37-35, came with 42 seconds left in the first half after a Hasaan Buggs layup.

UNC Pembroke and GSW swapped baskets to open the second half before things deteriorated quickly for the Hurricanes offense. UNC Pembroke scored eight unanswered points over the next five minutes for a stretch that saw GSW miss nine consecutive shots, six of which were one-attempt possessions. Relying on their defense to keep it close, the Hurricanes managed to stay within five points of UNC Pembroke as late as 10:37 remaining, but the Braves capitalized on another cold stretch for GSW shooters and went on a 13-2 run that proved to be all the cushion they would need.

The final GSW field goal came with 4:03 to play, so in two combined stretches over the second half, GSW was held for more than nine minutes without a basket.     

UNC Pembroke entered the game with the best rebounding margin in the PBC and they controlled the battle on the glass Monday, pulling down 17 more rebounds than GSW (47-30). The Hurricanes were held to a season low in points, assists and rebounds.

Who Stood Out: Dajion Macklien came off the bench to replace starter Quenten Taylor, who was injured early in the game and did not return, made 6 of 10 shots and led the Hurricanes with 12 points. Andre Statam scored 11 points. Sessions added nine points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.   

Up Next: GSW hits the road for two games, starting with a trip to Flagler College on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. contest.