AMERICUS, Ga. – After dropping an instant classic in heartbreaking fashion in double overtime at Clayton State less than 48 hours earlier, the Georgia Southwestern Hurricanes were looking to avoid a hangover against Clearwater Christian on Friday afternoon. Coach Leeder and company stumbled out of the gate before winning in convincing fashion 106-70.
It was a balanced attack for the Hurricanes as all five starters would score in double figures. They were led by Colin Slotter (26 points) and Evan Mobley (22 points). The backcourt duo was an efficient pair as they would combine to go 17-26 from the field, seven of eight from the line and record a combined ten assists.
Marlon Rivera would also give the Hurricanes his usual stat sheet-stuffing evening. The senior from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico finished the afternoon with ten points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Georgia Southwestern shot 60.3% from the field and converted 14 of their 16 free throw attempts. GSW clamped down on defense with 17 steals and out-rebounded Clearwater 41-25. The Blue & Gold were in a sharing mood with 29 assists as a team as Slotter, Rivera and Jamon Hawkins all recorded six assists a piece.
Clearwater's Matt Wells was the game's leading scorer tallying 30 points, which accounted for 43% of the Cougar offense.
The Blue & Gold were shaking off the cobwebs for the game's first 13 minutes as the visiting Cougars would actually lead by four points with just seven minutes to go in the half. The Hurricanes would go into the half leading by only five points, 41-36.
The Cougars' Todd Wahlberg would do all of his damage in the first half scoring 12 points on four of five shooting from beyond the arc. Senior teammate Matt Wells would tally ten of his 30 points in the initial frame. On the flip side, Phillip Brown would register ten points and two rebounds of his 16 points and six rebounds for the game.
The Canes would respond to Coach Leeder's halftime words with a 28 point outburst in the second half's first nine minutes. When the lead was pushed to 69-51, Head Coach Mike Leeder was ejected after receiving two technical fouls. With Assistant Coach Stephen Cox at the helm for the game's final ten minutes, the Blue & Gold would double the 18-point lead to 36 points by game's end.
The victory pushes the GSW record to 7-2 (0-2 PBC) on the season. The Hurricanes will close out 2011 by participating in the Bearcat Holiday Classic on the campus of Lander University. GSW will play Lenoir-Rhyne on Thursday, December 29th at 5:30 p.m. and Coastal Georgia the following day at 1:30 p.m.