Nighthawks Fly Into Eye Of The Storm

Nighthawks Fly Into Eye Of The Storm

AMERICUS, Ga. -- R.J. Sessions scored 28 points as the Georgia Southwestern State University men's basketball team ended its 4-game losing streak in emphatic fashion with an 81-47 win over North Georgia Saturday.

The Hurricanes (10-7, 6-7 PBC) shot 52.5 percent from the field for the game and 11-of-23 (47.8 percent) from three on the way to the blowout victory. Dajion Macklien started his second game of the season and scored 17 points to go along with four rebounds and two assists.

Tyler Dominy led UNG and was the only Nighthawk (8-10, 6-6 PBC) in double-figures with 10 points.   

How It Happened: Both teams got off to slow starts as Macklien finally opened the scoring with a layup at the 17:14 mark. GSW tacked on six more points before North Georgia finally got on the scoreboard with 12:48 left in the half on a layup from Shaquan Cantrell. The run ballooned to 15-2 eventually after a 3-pointer from John Mason followed by a steal and fast break layup from R.J. Sessions.

North Georgia followed with a 9-2 run of its own to cut the Hurricane lead to seven, but that was as close as the Nighthawks would get the rest of the night. GSW scored eight points in the final 1:33 of the first half to take a 37-24 lead into the locker room.

Sessions had 16 points at the break on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor while Macklien had eight in the book on 4-of-6 shooting. GSW held North Georgia to just 34.6 percent (9-of-26) shooting and forced the Nighthawks into seven turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

The Hurricanes turned their 8-0 run to end the first half into a 19-0 run by scoring the first 11 points of the second half to open a 24-point lead. After a made free throw by the Nighthawks GSW made three straight from deep, two by Sessions and one from Macklien to make it 57-27 with 14:47 remaining.

North Georgia wouldn't get closer than 30 the rest of the afternoon.  

Redshirt sophomore Colt Yawn started his first game of the season for the Hurricanes and made the most of it. Yawn knocked down a 3-pointer in each half and scored nine points while bringing in four boards with an assist and a steal in 25 minutes.

The Hurricanes were active defensively over the entire 40 minutes en route to holding the Nighthawks to 31.1 percent shooting and just 16.7 percent (3-of-18) from long-range. UNG struggled from the free throw line as well, going 6-of-13 (46.2 percent).

GSW held a 19-8 advantage in assists and scored 20 points off 16 North Georgia turnovers.

Who Stood Out: Dajion Macklien has seen a jump in playing time recently due to injuries and the junior transfer has stepped up. Macklien had his best shooting game of the season Saturday (8-of-11) and had an effect on several aspects of the game by grabbing rebounds and dishing out assists. R.J. Sessions again showed his ability to take over a game with hot shooting, making back-to-back 3-pointers and a jump shot in just a minute of action in the second half.

Up Next: The Hurricanes head back to the road for a 7:30 p.m. tip at Georgia College on Wednesday night.