AMERICUS - The Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team improved to 4-0 this season after a 59-55 win over the University of West Florida on Thursday evening in the Storm Dome.
Alan Arnett scored a game-high 15 points, with 11 coming from charity stripe, to lead the Hurricanes. Arnett has drained 21 free throws over the last two games.
West Florida drops to 0-2 despite eliminating a 12-point deficit early in the second half.
GSW led at the half, 30-20, and a Jamon Hawkins jumper to open the second period gave the Hurricanes a 12-point lead.
UWF rattled off 14 unanswered points over the next five-plus minutes to gain its first lead since holding a 9-8 advantage with 13:28 left in the first half.
The two sides went back-and-forth until Arnett sank a pair from the charity stripe with 12:24 to play to put the Hurricanes ahead 38-36. Those two free throws followed a Daryl Davis jumper that sparked a 12-2 GSW run. The Hurricanes would not trail again.
UWF pulled within two points at 53-51 with 2:51 to go, but Hawkins put in a layup for the 'Canes to make it a two-possession game.
After an Arnett free throw, Nate Johnson scored for the Argonauts to move within three points of GSW. The following possession Davis grabbed an important offensive rebound and converted the follow up to give the Hurricanes a 58-53 lead with 42 seconds left.
Ellis Young made a pair of free throws for UWF and Hawkins sank 1 of 2 from the line for GSW before the Hurricane defense tightened on the last two Argonaut possessions. Johathan Brooks and Darius Redding took turns blocking shots over the final 20 seconds and Redding picked off an inbound pass to seal the win.
Hawkins finished in double-digits with 12 points, his highest total of the young season. Davis was near a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds. Johathon Brooks grabbed a team-best nine rebounds and added eight points.
GSW outrebounded UWF 33-30 in the game and forced two more turnovers (16-14). Neither team shot particularly well from the free throw line. GSW was at 58.8 percent and UWF finished at 57.1 percent. Both sides shot 41 percent overall from the floor.
Mario Stramaglia led the Argonauts with 14 points. Young added 11. Johnson grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds in the loss.
Southwestern has the weekend off and returns to the hardwood on Wednesday when it completes a home-and-home with West Florida and travels to Pensacola for an 8 p.m. game.