Americus, Ga. – The Georgia Southwestern men's basketball team is set to return to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. The Hurricanes make their second consecutive tournament appearance, third in the last four years, and have their highest seed since capturing the top seed in 2011
All the action is set to take place on March 7-9 at the Frank G. Lumpkin Center in Columbus, Ga. The Hurricanes, seeded second in the West Division, will take on the East Division's third seed Lander University at 5 p.m. in the third quarterfinal matchup on Friday afternoon (March 7).
Fans can watch Friday's game, and all the games of the tournament, free of charge on the PBC's Ustream channel at ustream.tv/peachbeltconference. Live stats will also be provided, as well as in-game updates on the PBC Twitter feed.
The PBC will also provide a stream of every post-game press conference. Links to all the live coverage along with ticket information can be found on the official tournament website here. A PDF bracket can be found here.
The Hurricanes finished the regular season with an overall record of 19-9, and 11-8 in conference. The Hurricanes are currently on a won game winning streak after the win on the road at North Georgia. GSW is fortunate to have seven seniors taking leading roles for the Hurricane roster.
Alan Arnett is leading GSW with 466 points so far this season. Arnett, a second-team All-Conference selection, is fourth in the conference in points scored and has 16.6 points per game. He is shooting 48.8 percent from the field, and 78.2 percent from the free throw stripe. The Kokomo, Ind. native has the third highest playing time in conference, being one of nine players to reach over 900 minutes.
The Hurricanes consistently see double-double figures from senior Johathan Brooks, who is nationally ranked 23rd with 11 double-doubles during the season. During the ninth week of the season, Brooks was named PBC Player of the Week after a week of achieving two double-doubles averaging 12.5 points and 16 rebounds. He also added 2.5 assists and two rebounds. Entering the tournament Brooks averages the most rebounds in conference with 282 rebounds, averaging 10.1 per game. Macon, Ga. native is also among the nine PBC players to reach over 900 minutes of play. Brooks is shooting 46 percent from the field, 44.3 percent from beyond the arch, and 65.1 from the free throw line. Brooks is fourth in the league with 44 blocks.
GSW is expecting senior Daryl Davis to produce high numbers as well during the tournament. Davis was rewarded with being named PBC Player of the Week during the fifth week of the season. This was awarded after Davis shot 72.2% (13-of-18) from the field in two games and added two blocks per game. Davis is averaging 13.6 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game. He is second in conference with a field goal percentage of 58.8. The Mobile, Ala. native is also eighth in the PBC with 34 blocks. Davis is shooting 71.3 percent from the free throw line.
Senior Jamon Hawkins will be expected to start for GSW in the guard position. Hawkins is a solid player from the floor as he adds 11.2 points per game. Hawkins is shooting 42.6 percent from the field, 37.3 from behind the arch and 76.6 percent from the free throw line. Senior Adrian Knight is also expected to join the starting five during the tournament as he has for the past four games. Knight contributes about 2.5 points per game and 1.6 rebounds per game.
Lander (17-11, 11-8 PBC), is led by PBC All-Conference team member, Michael Panaggio. Panaggio is ranked second in minutes per game, fourth in total assists with 132, and seventh in three-pointers made and assist-to-turnover ratio.
The last game between Lander and GSW was January 30th. Lander came out on top with a 62-58 win. Lander had double-digit scoring by Darius Carrier, Panaggio, Mario Pendarvis, and Jr Washington. This game was GSW's fourth loss of the season.
The winner of the Georgia Soutwestern/Lander quarterfinal will take on the winner of the quarterfinal between Columbus State and USC Aiken in Saturday's (March 8) second semifinal at 8 p.m.
The tournament championship game will take place on Sunday, March 9, at 4:30 p.m. The champion will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Division II Tournament.