FORT VALLEY, Ga. -- Propelled by 50 percent shooting from 3-point range in the first half, the Georgia Southwestern State University men's basketball team opened up a 20-point lead before halftime and held off Fort Valley State University, 70-61, Thursday evening in the HPE Complex. The Hurricanes won their second consecutive game to improve to 4-1 overall while Fort Valley State, which had won four of its last five, fell to 6-5.
How It Happened: GSW outscored Fort Valley State, 24-10, over the final 10 minutes of the opening session to build its comfortable cushion heading into the break. Despite coming off a 14-point win over No. 19 Valdosta State on Tuesday, Fort Valley State was unable to parlay that success into offensive production against the Hurricanes. GSW held the Wildcats to 23.1 percent shooting (3 of 13) from beyond the arc and multiple scoring droughts, including spells of five minutes and a pair at three minutes, prior to halftime. GSW made 7 of 14 from long range over the opening 20 minutes.
John Mason put in a layup with 11:03 to play to give GSW its largest lead of the night, 62-38, but Fort Valley State answered with a 19-4 run and pulled within nine points. That was close as the Wildcats could get and GSW held on for the final 4:37.
GSW struggled from the charity stripe, finishing 4 of 12, and Fort Valley State won the battle on the boards, 52-35, but the Hurricanes never trailed in completing the season series sweep. GSW defeated Fort Valley State, 65-52, in Americus on Nov. 21.
Who Stood Out: R.J. Sessions and Quenten Taylor finished with 20 points apiece. Both players have eclipsed the 20-point tally twice this season. Taylor sank 3 of 5 from long range and pulled down six rebounds. Andre Statam led the Hurricanes with seven boards. Devin Watson added 13 points. Hasaan Buggs was efficient from the floor, hitting 4 of 6 shots.
Up Next: GSW travels to Florence, South Carolina, on Sunday for the second game of a three-game road trip. Tipoff at Francis Marion University is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.