January 23, 2014

Big Night For The Big Man

AMERICUS - Simply put, Daryl Davis was perfect. Davis connected on all 12 of his shot attempts en route to a career-high 31 points as Georgia Southwestern fought off North Georgia for an 84-78 victory on Thursday evening in the Storm Dome.

GSW has won three straight games and improves to 15-3 overall and 7-2 in the Peach Belt Conference. North Georgia drops its third straight to fall to 6-9 overall and 3-6 in PBC play.

After falling behind 7-2 to open the contest, Southwestern went on a 14-2 run spurred by a pair of Johathan Brooks 3-point baskets. 

UNG answered the Hurricanes run with a 12-0 run of their own. GSW was held scoreless for four minutes before Davis ended the drought with a 3-point play. Southwestern regained the lead and eventually built its largest cushion of the first half, 36-28, with 1:34 to go before the break. The Hurricanes maintained the eight-point lead and took a 38-30 advantage into halftime.

The two sides exchanged baskets in the opening minute of the second period before Brooks knocked down a 3-pointer to give GSW its largest lead of the night at 43-32 with 18:55 to play.

UNG would not go away and the Nighthawks clawed their way back into the game. An Ishmael Hollis dunk at the 12:45 mark put UNG back on top, 53-52.

Another 3-point play from Davis a few possessions later put the Hurricanes ahead for good with 8:39 to play.

GSW was unable to stretch the margin beyond five points until the final minute of the game.

Southwestern shot 52.9 percent from the floor in the contest while North Georgia rebounded from a 31.4 percent first half to finish the game at 44.1 percent. The Nighthawks struggled from long range, connecting on 3 of 17 attempts. Both sides were efficient from the free throw line, making over 80 percent. GSW made a season-high 25 from the charity stripe.

North Georgia held a slight advantage in rebounding (35-32) and bench points (19-13).

Davis jumps from 10th in the conference in field goal percentage to second after his performance against the Nighthawks. In addition, he made 7 of 8 from the free throw line, grabbed seven rebounds, collected three steals and swatted away a pair of UNG shots. Brooks came up two points shy of his season high with a 20-point effort on Thursday. Alan Arnett chipped in 18 points, six rebounds and four blocks.

Hollis paced UNG with 22 points and eight rebounds. Corey Green added 14 points and Lamar Richardson scored 10.

The Hurricanes wrap up their four-game home stand on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Columbus State.