Cougars use balanced scoring to sink Pirates

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Six different players scored at least eight points for Columbus State as they put together a great team effort to defeat Armstrong Atlantic State 70-46 on Thursday night in a Peach Belt Conference matchup at the Lumpkin Center.  CSU improves to 8-6 on the year and 3-2 in league play while the Pirates fall to 7-8 this season and 3-4 in the PBC.

The Cougars scored the first four points of the game and 10 of the first 13 to take a 10-3 lead just four and a half minutes into the game.  The spurt was finalized by Darius Mcknight's left-handed slam as four different players scour during the span.

It would be a seesaw affair over the next seven minutes before Columbus State flexed their muscles as they went on a 15-0 run over the next 3:16 to go ahead 37-16 with 4:23 remaining in the first half.

Despite going 0-for-9 from three point range, CSU shot 51.5% (17-for-33) from the field as they went into the break in front 39-21.

The Cougars got off to a slow start in the second half netting just four points over the first four minutes as Armstrong crept their way back to within 14 points, 43-29, the closest they would be for the remainder of the game. 

CSU quickly rattled off five straight points to put the game away over the next minute and a half as the hosts were up 48-29.

With the outcome of the game in hand early in the second half, the real drama unfolded as the contest came to an end.  Dimitri Davis was dribbling out the clock and heaved up what appeared to be a shot well beyond the three-point basket that went in.  The referees counted the basket but only gave Davis credit for a two point attempt thus ending a streak of 384 consecutive games in which Columbus State had made a three-point basket in a contest.  The streak started after the Cougars did not score beyond the arc on January 4, 1999 versus Albany State.

Jarmarquis Steverson and Darius Mcknight paced the balanced offensive attack scoring 14 points apiece while Paul Darkwa and Johnathan Murphy each chipped in with nine.  Steve Peterson narrowly missed out on a double-double registering eight points and nine rebounds.  As a team, CSU shot 46% (29-for-63) from the field and 12-for-14 (85.7%) from the free throw line.  Columbus State leads the PBC in free throw percentage in league games hitting at a 81% clip.

Aric Miller and Chris Vanlandingham each netted 13 points for Armstrong as they were the only players to hit double figures for the Pirates.  DeVon Jones, nine points, was the only other player to score over four points.  The 46 points scored is a season low for the Pirates, 23 points lower than their previous low and 43 points below their season average.

Columbus State will be on their home court again this weekend as they host Flagler on Saturday, January 14.  Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET at the Lumpkin Center.