AMERICUS - Sometimes it's just your night. Everything's clicking, you can't miss and everyone's contributing.
Thursday night was one of those nights for the Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team as the Hurricanes defeated Columbus State, 96-66, in the Storm Dome behind 59 percent shooting from 3-point range.
Matt Shaw led the barrage with 27 points. Shaw was outstanding as he connected on 9 of 17 shots - including 6 of 7 from beyond the arc - made all three of his free throws, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists.
GSW has won three in-a-row and improves to 10-11 overall and 6-8 in the Peach Belt Conference. Columbus State drops below .500 to 10-11 and sits at 5-9 in conference play.
The Cougars had 53 seconds to enjoy a lead in the game. Rory Miller put CSU ahead 3-2 and, after Adrian Knight put GSW up 4-3, a Miller layup made the score 5-4 with 17:03 left in the first half.
Daryl Davis put the Hurricanes on top for good moments later.
A 6-0 run helped GSW build its first double-digit lead of the game at 20-10 with 10:27 to go before the break.
GSW led by 14 points on three separate occasions before settling on a 39-27 advantage at halftime. The Hurricanes improve to 8-3 this season when leading after 20 minutes of play.
GSW wasted no time jumping on the Cougars in the second period, utilizing a 17-2 run over the opening four minutes to blow the game open. The Hurricanes connected on their first six shots of the second half and made their first four 3-point baskets.
CSU would get no closer than 24 the rest of the way.
A jumper by Jamon Hawkins with 4:16 left gave GSW its largest lead of the game - 36 points - at 87-51.
Hawkins had a tremendous night from the floor as well, pouring in 22 points after connecting on 7 of 12 shots, including 6 of 9 from beyond the arc. Davis posted his first double-double of the season after scoring 13 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. The reigning PBC Player of the Week Alan Arnett chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds and Michael Tankersley added 11 points and four steals.
Miller led CSU with 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Jahmad Saleem added 10 points.
Southwestern led in most team categories, including rebounding (42-27), assists (24-12), points off turnovers (28-13) and points in the paint (40-30). Columbus State shot 51.9 percent from the floor in the second half and hit 5 of 9 (55.6 percent) from beyond the arc, but was dwarfed by GSW's 61.8 percent shooting and 9 of 13 (69.2 percent) effort from 3-point range.
The Hurricanes return to action on Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. contest against Georgia College in the Storm Dome.