AMERICUS, Ga. -- Freshman Grant Howard turned in the best performance of his young collegiate career, but the Georgia Southwestern State University men's basketball team was unable to overcome Young Harris College in the closing minutes and suffered a 100-97 loss Saturday afternoon in the Storm Dome.
Howard scored 20 points and was the team leader in rebounds (8) and assists (8).
The Hurricanes suffered their fifth-consecutive defeat and fell to 2-10 overall and 0-6 in the Peach Belt Conference. Young Harris picked up its third-straight win to improve to 7-7 overall and 5-3 in the PBC.
How It Happened: For the third game in a row the Hurricanes went into the halftime break with a lead. Devin Watson had a sensational first half as he made 6 of 8 shots, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and posted 16 points. GSW shot 51.4 percent from the floor and limited its turnovers to four. The Hurricanes led by as many as 10 points late in the opening session before the Mountain Lions closed out the period on a 15-6 run.
GSW held the largest lead by either side in the second half (9) with 13:15 to play when Howard sank a jumper to make the score 74-65.
Young Harris went back out front at the 10:34 mark, 80-78. In a game that saw plenty of scoring, the score was tied at 80-80 for nearly three minutes. The Mountain Lions regained the lead with 6:23 to play, 85-82, and held on until the final horn. While the deficit never went beyond five points, GSW was unable to complete a comeback.
Young Harris (51.4 percent) finished with a higher shooting percentage than GSW (47.2 percent). The Hurricanes have allowed opponents to shoot over 50 percent in four of the five games during their current losing streak. GSW has not shot over 50 percent since the opening game of the season. Rebounds (38-38) and steals (6-6) were even on Saturday. Young Harris committed three more turnovers (13-10).
Who Stood Out: Both teams had a pair of players score more than 20 points. Watson finished with 21 to go with Howard's 20. All five of GSW's starters scored in double figures and R.J. Sessions came off the bench to add 17 points. Jalen Morgan matched Howard for the team lead with eight rebounds.
Brian Harper led Young Harris with 21 points and Alphonso Willis added 20. Reigning PBC Player of the Week Justin Jones was held to eight points behind 2 of 15 shooting.
Up Next: The Hurricanes play their next two games on the road, starting with a short trip to Columbus State (6-6, 2-5 PBC) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.