By Chris Whitaker
The Americus Times-Recorder
GREENWOOD, S.C. - Georgia Southwestern men's basketball coach Mike Leeder could breathe a sigh of relief.
Ric Roderick made two free throws, and a Marcus Hodges' last-second 3-pointer missed as the Hurricanes won their third game in a row with a 59-56 win Monday evening against Lenoir-Rhyne, at Lander University.
"We're very fortunate," said Leeder. "We were up big in the second half, and we didn't play well offensively down the stretch. We got a stop when we needed it, and we held on to win."
GSW (4-5) has won three in a row for the first time since November 2007.
The Hurricanes built a 34-16 halftime lead and led by 20 in the second half when the Bears made their run.
A Chris Rawls dunk at the 7:25 mark of the second half gave GSW a 52-39 lead, but the Hurricanes didn't score a field goal the rest of the game. The Bears were held the final 3:12 without a field goal.
GSW did make 7 of 11 free throws during that time.
"We were very limited offensively," said Leeder. "Their record is no indication - they're usually a good team in our region. They took us out of what we wanted to do.
"We got some baskets from guys who haven't been shooting well, and we scored in ways we haven't scored all year. All the guys came off the bench and contributed."
Marcus Scott scored 14 to lead GSW, and Evan Mobley had 12. Chris Rawls was held to five points on 1 of 5 shooting.
"They swarmed Chris every time he touched the ball, and other guys made their shots," said Leeder. "That's what the perimeter guys have to do."
D.J. Blackmon led the Bears' charge, scoring 16 of his 18 in the second half.
GSW plays Hiwassee at 1 p.m. Tuesday and then readies for its conference schedule where six of its first seven games are on the road.