Statam Scores 19 in Second Half; Canes Lose In Crazy Finish

Statam Scores 19 in Second Half; Canes Lose In Crazy Finish

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- Andre Statam scored 19 of his game-high 21 points in the second half to rally the Georgia Southwestern State University men's basketball team back from an 11-point deficit, but a 3-pointer from teammate R.J. Sessions in the closing seconds caught too much iron and Georgia College handed the Hurricanes a 65-64 Peach Belt Conference loss on Wednesday in the Centennial Center.

How It Happened: The final 30 seconds was a flurry of action that had viewers rocking in their seats as the ball bounced and flew all over the court before Sessions had the final look and took the decisive shot. It started with Justin Cave from Georgia College (10-10, 6-8 PBC) finding teammate Kohl Roberts for a layup to put the Bobcats ahead, 65-64, with 30 seconds to play. Following a timeout, GSW (10-8, 6-8 PBC) turned the ball over on their end of floor with 22 seconds to go and Isaac Thomas appeared to be going in for a breakaway score on the other end when Devin Watson came out of nowhere, chased Thomas down and swatted away the layup with 16 seconds to play. Dajion Macklien chased the ball down for GSW, and threw it near midcourt where Sessions bobbled the pass and lost control of the ball crossing the center stripe with nine seconds to go. Georgia College pounced on the loose ball, quickly flung it towards their basket, but the high pass was intercepted by GSW with five ticks on the clock. Sessions took the long 3-pointer with two seconds remaining and a long rebound attempt followed, but time expired before either side could control possession. 

Georgia College came into the game holding opponents to the lowest scoring average in the league (70.4 ppg) and that was evident in the first half on Wednesday as the two sides ground out a 35-26 score. GSW trailed by as many as 13 points before limiting the Bobcats to four points over the final five minutes of the period to pull within nine at the break.

Statam made 4 of 5 from 3-point range and sank a pair of free throws during a 10-minute stretch that helped the Hurricanes erase an 11-point deficit and regain the lead, 54-52, with 7:41 to play. Neither side could generate any separation the rest of the way. 

GSW matched its largest lead of the evening on a Hasaan Buggs free throw with 1:55 remaining, but three consecutive turnovers followed to set the stage for the dramatic finish. 

The Hurricanes lost for the first time this season (9-1) when leading with one minute to play and for only the second time (15-2) under head coach Ben Hicks.

Who Stood Out: Statam drained 5 of 8 from from long range in the game, and 7 of 12 shots overall, to lead the charge for GSW. Sessions made all five of his free throw attempts and finished with 15 points to run his current scoring streak to four games with double figures. Buggs had eight points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Thomas made 7 of 11 shots to lead Georgia College with 17 points and eight rebounds. 

Up Next: The Hurricanes return to Americus to host Young Harris College (6-14, 5-9 PBC) on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.