Lander Pulls Away Late To Defeat GSW

Lander Pulls Away Late To Defeat GSW

GREENWOOD, S.C. -- The Lander University men's basketball team made 10 second-half 3-pointers and outscored Georgia Southwestern by nine points over the final four and a half minutes to pull away and hand the Hurricanes a 92-79 loss Wednesday evening in Finis Horne Arena.

GSW suffered its second consecutive defeat to fall to 12-10 overall and 8-10 in the Peach Belt Conference while Lander has won two in a row, and three of its last four, to improve to 10-14, 6-12 in the PBC. Despite the loss, GSW remains tied for sixth in the PBC standings, two up in the win column on a pack of three teams currently on the outside looking in for a berth in the postseason and the PBC Tournament, with four games remaining. 

How It Happened: GSW grabbed the lead out of the gates and held a small advantage for most of the first half, pushing the margin to seven points, 34-27, on a 3-pointer by Jason Weaver with 3:48 remaining. Lander put together a 9-2 run to close out the half and a jumper by Sergio Smith with 30 seconds to go before the break gave the Bearcats their first lead of the evening, 38-36.

R.J. Sessions scored the first seven points of the second half to push GSW back out front and the Hurricanes would not relinquish the lead until 10:41 remained. It took three consecutive 3-pointers from the Bearcats to regain the advantage and another two from long range to put the Hurricanes in a 65-58 hole. Sidney Robinson accounted for four of the five bombs. The Hurricanes eventually pulled within four points, 73-69, with 4:38 on the clock before running out of gas.        

GSW connected on 13 of a season-high 31 attempts from 3-point range, but couldn't keep up with the Bearcats, who sank their 13 from long range in eight fewer attempts. Lander controlled the glass as well, outrebounding GSW, 40-21. The 11 defensive rebounds were the fewest in a game by the Hurricanes this season.   

Who Stood Out: Andre Statam finished with 22 points behind 7-of-8 shooting to lead GSW. He made all three of his attempts from behind the arc and all five tries from the free throw line. It's the sixth time Statam has scored 20 or more points this season. Sessions scored 20 points and dished out four assists. John Mason grabbed a team-high six rebounds and chipped in 10 points.

Robinson scored 28 points in 23 minutes coming off the bench to lead Lander.  

Up Next: GSW returns home for its final two regular season games, beginning with Flagler College (8-14, 5-13) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.