CSU defeats West Alabama 78-66

Columbus – Steve Peterson scored a career high 27 points to lead the Columbus State men's basketball to a 78-66 victory over West Alabama in a non-conference tilt Saturday afternoon in the Lumpkin Center.  CSU improves to 4-3 on the year while the Tigers fall to 1-7.

Peterson connected on 9-of-16 field goals attempts in the game including 6-of-9 from three-point range.  He was even more impressive in the second half going 5-of-6 from deep.  The Columbus native also grabbed a game high 11 rebounds, posting his first double-double of the season.

The Cougars got off to a very slow start hitting just 2 of their first 16 shot attempts, one of which was a goaltending call on behalf of CSU.  Despite all that, when Jarmarquis Steverson hit a three-pointer for the team's third field goal made, Columbus State was only down 14-11 with 7:35 to go in the first half.

CSU took their first lead of the game at the 3:36 mark when Peterson's layup gave them a 20-18 edge.  That also capped off a 17-6 run that got them back into the game.  The sides would go back and forth over the final minutes of the half as West Alabama regained the lead but AJ Shepherd made consecutive layups pushing the Cougars back in front 28-25 with 14 seconds left in the opening 20 minutes of action.

Jared Woolfolk hit a shot as time expired in the half to send the Tigers into the locker room down just one point, 28-27.

Coming out of the break, Columbus State used a 13-5 spurt to open the lead to nine points (41-32) with 15:23 left in the game.  Winford Ivey ended the run scoring the final five points.

The two sides would throw punches back and forth over the next six minutes before CSU would start to pull away over the remainder of the game.  With the score 53-46 with 9:07 to go, Idell Bell knocked down a three-pointer to start an 18-9 run over the next seven minutes to give the host's their largest lead of the game, 71-55 with just over two and a half minutes remaining in the contest.  Five different Cougars scored over that stretch.

Columbus State went 15-for-30 (50%) from the floor in the second half as they scored 50 points in the half, tying their highest mark of the season which they also did in the second 20 minutes of play against Puerto Rico Mayaguez in the season opener.  For the game, they were 26-for-59 (44.1%) from the field.  CSU was also 12-for-28 (42.9%) from three-point range.

Idell Bell was the second leading scorer for the Cougars netting 13 points while Jarmarquis Steverson, Sam Morgan and AJ Shepherd all chipped in with six points.  CSU also out-rebounded West Alabama, 38-32 in the game.

Jared Woolfolk paced the Tigers dropping 21 points while Phillip Morris and Drew Faile also hit double figures, scoring 15 and 10 points, respectively.  UWA went 23-for-57 (40.4%) from the field while going 8-for-21 (38.1%) from downtown.

The Cougars will return to the hardwood on Thursday, December 15 when they take on Florida Memorial in the Loop Pizza Grill Classic hosted by Valdosta State.