Limping to the Finish Line
COLUMBUS - Missing four starters and five of the 13 players on their opening day roster, the Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team was no match for Columbus State on Saturday afternoon in the Frank G. Lumpkin, Jr. Center and lost the season finale, 84-64.
The Hurricanes added starter Milos Kleut to the growing list of unavailable players for the CSU game when he suffered a foot injury on Wednesday against Georgia College.
With 45 percent of their point production on the bench, GSW struggled from the floor most of the afternoon. Columbus State took full advantage, scoring the first eight points of the game and jumping out to a 13-2 lead in the opening five minutes.
Southwestern pulled to within seven, 17-10, after a Jamon Hawkins 3-point bucket at the 11:15 mark.
After CSU quickly stretched the lead back to 11 points, GSW chipped away again and Hawkins hit a jumper with 7:15 until the break to bring the Hurricanes within six, 26-20. That's as close as GSW would get the rest of the way.
Columbus State (16-10, 11-6 PBC) ended the half on a 13-3 run to take a 39-23 lead into the break.
CSU pushed the lead to 21 points with 16:24 to play and again with just over a minute to go.
GSW senior Evan Mobley, the lone starter remaining from the first game of the season, scored 15 second-half points to finish with a game-high 23 points. He finishes his illustrious four-year GSW career with over 1,300 points. Hawkins was right behind Mobley with a career-high 22 against CSU. It's his second 20-plus performance in the last three games. Marlon Rivera added 10 points and eight assists in his GSW finale.
Winford Ivey led the Cougars with 18 points off the bench. Steve Peterson scored 16 and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for the double-double.
The Hurricanes shot 36.2 percent from the floor and 23.3 percent from beyond the arc. CSU finished at 50 percent overall and 36.4 percent from long range.
The Cougars outrebounded GSW, 40-33. There was little room for foul trouble with the big men inside for GSW as the tallest available player off the bench was 6-foot-2.
Southwestern finishes the 2011-12 campaign with a record of 12-14 overall and 3-14 in Peach Belt Conference play.