Poor free-throw shooting cost Cougars as they fall to No. 21 GSW 66-58

From: Columbus State University Athletics News

COLUMBUS –  Games are won at the free-throw line and Saturday's contest proved to be no different as poor-three shooting cost CSU down the stretch as they fell to No. 21 Georgia Southwestern 66-58 in men's basketball action.  The loss snaps a two game winning streak for CSU, dropping their record to 7-8 and 3-3 in PBC play while GSW won its seventh straight improving to 13-3 and 6-1 in conference.

Points were at a premium from the onset as both teams struggled to put points on the board early on in the contest.  Paul Darkwa connected on a jumper to put CSU up 6-5 with 15:35 remaining in the first half, as the two teams combined for just 11 points in the first five minutes of play.

Over the course of the next five minutes Columbus State would find its offensive rhythm. The Cougars would extend the lead to 21-12 on the heels of a 15-7 run capped off by a three-pointer from Lamar Williams at the 9:24 mark.

Following a timeout, Georgia Southwestern narrowed the deficit down to 21-16 with 8:31 left in the first frame fueled by jumpers from Colin Slotter and Phillip Brown.

Columbus State looked prime for an upset of the No.21 team in the land as they continued to stretch the lead, pushing it to 26-16 with 6:45 left in the half.  The Hurricanes responded with a 12-4 run of their own cutting the lead to just 30-28 on a Phillip Brown layup with 47 seconds remaining in the half.

A pair of Jarmarquis Steverson free throws pushed the lead back to four before Talmadge Bell connected from deep, sending the two teams into the locker rooms with CSU up 32-31.

Both teams connected on 44.4 percent shooting in the first twenty minutes.  Columbus State was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line in the first half.

GSW turned up the defensive intensity in the second half, forcing five CSU turnovers in the first five minutes leading to 6-0 a run by the visitors giving them a 37-32 lead with 15:58 left in the contest.

Columbus State struggled to get anything going on the offensive end coming out of the break as they misfired on their first seven shots of the second half.  A Bryant Thomas layup at the 13:05 mark ended a nearly seven minute scoring drought for CSU, narrowing the deficit to 37-34.

Georgia Southwestern continued to dominate the second frame and looked well on their way to their seventh straight win, as they stretched the lead to 47-39 on a three-point play from Matt Shaw with 8:53 left to play.

A Steve Peterson three-pointer started an 11-4 run for the Cougars as they crawled their way back into the contest cutting the deficit to 51-50 on a Darius Mcknight bucket with just under five minutes left in second half.

Columbus State continued to fight down the stretch, down just three at 58-55 with two minutes to play. Following a timeout, both teams would come up empty on their next possession until a thunderous dunk by Phillip Brown pushed the lead back to 60-55 with under a minute remaining.  Following the play, Brown made contact with senior forward Donta Ridley and Ridley was whistled for a technical foul for shoving Brown putting the Hurricanes on the line for two.

Talmadge Bell connected on 1-of-2 free throws putting GSW up 61-55 with 50 seconds left.  The Hurricanes would make three of their final four attempts from the free-throw line in final 30 seconds to secure the 66-58 victory.

Unlike the first half, Columbus State struggled mightily from the free-throw line in second half missing 11 straight attempts in the final eight minutes of play. CSU finished 2-of-13 from the charity stripe in the half.

Georgia Southwestern was led by Phillip Brown who registered a double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds in 32 minutes of action.  Brown connected on 9-of-11 shots from the floor and also added a pair of blocks and steals.  Evan Mobley added 14 points, nine of which came in the second half.  Talmadge Bell chipped in 11 points and five boards.  The Hurricanes were 22-of-50 (44%) from the floor and connected on 18-of-26 from the free-throw line.

Columbus State was led by Jarmarquis Steverson who registered 13 points and five rebounds in 27 minutes.  Steve Peterson was the only other player in double figures with 11 points and five rebounds.  CSU connected on just 23-of-62 (37.1%) from the floor including 3-of-15 from three-point range.  Columbus State shot just 45 percent from the free-throw line, connecting on only 9-of-20.

The Cougars will be right back in action Monday as they travel to Morrow, Ga to take on Clayton State.  Tip-off is set for 7:30 pm.