AMERICUS - The Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team cut a 16-point deficit down to three but could not get over the hump and suffered its third-straight loss, an 84-77 decision to Young Harris College on Saturday afternoon in the Storm Dome.
The Hurricanes drop to 6-5 overall and 2-2 in the Peach Belt Conference. Young Harris has won seven of its last eight contests and improves to 7-3 overall and 2-1 in the PBC.
YHC shooters were red hot in the early going, building the 16-point advantage behind 58.3 percent accuracy (7 of 12) from beyond the arc. The Mountain Lions led 40-24 with 2:43 remaining in the first half.
GSW shaved a few points off the margin in the closing minutes to trail 42-32 at the break. Unlike their opponents, the Hurricanes struggled from long range early on, making 1 of 6 from 3-point range. It's only the second time this season GSW has been behind at halftime.
After both sides scored four points apiece to open the second half, making the score 46-36 with 18:13 to play, GSW rattled off an 8-1 run behind four points from Alan Arnett to pull within three, 47-44.
Despite committing turnovers on their next four possessions, a Matt Shaw layup with 14:12 to play kept the Hurricanes within four points, 50-46.
The sides swapped baskets and with 12:53 to go GSW would get no closer, trailing 52-48.
Southwestern shot the ball well in the second half. The Hurricanes finished 20 of 35 (57.1 percent) over the final 20 minutes. Turnovers and fouls offset the 'Canes accurate shooting. GSW committed five more turnovers (10-5) and nine more fouls (15-6) than YHC in the second half.
The Hurricanes finished the game with a substantial advantage in rebounds (38-26) and points in the paint (56-20), but trailed in points off turnovers (20-6).
Coming off his first career double-double, Shaw led the Hurricanes with 24 points, on 12 of 18 shooting, and a game-high nine rebounds. Jamon Hawkins added his second-consecutive night of at least 20 points, finishing with 20 on 7 of 12 shooting. Arnett chipped in 11 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Malcolm Jackson, second in the PBC in scoring, finished with 20 points. He was outdone by teammate Frank Adams, who came into the night the fourth leading scorer in the conference. Adams scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Vince Martin added 16 points.
Southwestern visits Francis Marion on Saturday (1/12).