Columbus – The Columbus State men's basketball team was unable to score in the final seconds of regulation falling 60-59 to West Georgia Saturday afternoon in a non-conference matchup in the Lumpkin Center. UWG stays unbeaten on the season improving to 8-0 while the Cougars now stand at 3-2 on the year.
With West Georgia ahead 60-54, Winford Ivey drove the lane as the shot clock was winding down and hit a floater as he was fouled to bring CSU to within four with 1:32 remaining. Ivey missed the free throw attempt, but Columbus State had a big defensive stand to regain possession.
Steve Peterson beat his defender off the dribble driving the lane for the layup making it a two point contest, 60-58 with 1:08 left on the clock.
UWG missed the front end of a one-and-one on their next possession keeping the score the same. Peterson again drove to the hoop and was fouled. The Columbus native made one-of-two attempts at the line bringing CSU to within a point, 60-59 with 19 second to go.
Columbus State was forced to foul Gavin Field, West Georgia's second leading free throw shooter. Field also missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Cougars quickly raced the ball up the court and called a timeout. On the ensuing in-bound play, Peterson drove the lane but was cut off kicking the ball out to Idell Bell who also drove the lane. His jumper bounced off the rim and into the hands of Darius Mcknight whose shot at the buzzer would have won it, but it rolled off the rim giving the visitors the win.
"We had a couple of point blank shots there at the end that did not go into the hole," stated head coach Robert Moore. "At the end of close games, we try to put the ball into our best players' hands which we did, but we fell short.
"If you don't shoot the ball well like we did, you have to do everything else perfect and we did not do that today."
The game was tight through its entirety as neither team had a lead larger than eight points. West Georgia had the largest lead of the game at 46-38 at the 14:51 mark in the second half, but it was short lived as Bell rattled off six straight points to bring CSU to within two points, 46-44 with 12:10 to go.
Columbus State was able to whittle the deficit down to one point three times over the remainder of the contest, but was unable to get over the hump.
For the game, Columbus State shot 38.7% (24-for-62) from the field, but just 31.3% (10-for-32) in the second half. Peterson led all scorers with 19 points while Steverson and Bell both chipped in with 10 points apiece. CSU didn't help itself at the free throw line either knowing down just 8-of-16 attempts.
The Cougars did a great job of corralling UWG's leading scorer Da'Ron Sims to just 10 points. The forward came into the contest averaging nearly 22 points a game and dropped 28 points on CSU in the teams first meeting of the season. Lavon Gray and Gavin Field paced the Wolves in scoring each netting 11 points each.