Nov 17, 2018
ALBANY, Ga. -- The Georgia Southwestern State University men's basketball team jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first half at Albany State University on Saturday afternoon in The Arena at West Campus, but offensive stuggles and defensive breakdowns allowed the hosts to rally and hand the Hurricanes a 68-65 loss.
GSW took 12 more shots than Albany State over the final 20 minutes, but couldn't erase a three-point halftime deficit.
How It Happened: The Hurricanes were clicking in all facets coming out of the gate, scoring 15 of the game's first 20 points. Jalen Morgan outscored Albany State by himself over the opening eight and half minutes, 10-7, and the Hurricanes led by 10 with 11:21 left in the first half.
The Golden Rams proceeded to chip away at the lead over the next six minutes and pulled within four points before Morgan knocked down a jumper to make the score 24-18 with five minutes to go in the half. That basket only momentarily stopped the bleeding as Albany State closed out the opening session on a 14-5 run and led 32-29 at the break.
GSW went scoreless for nearly six minutes to open the second half and Albany State stretched its lead to 11 points.
R.J. Sessions hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Hurricanes within three points, 50-47, and following a defensive stand, Jamari Dean sank a jumper to make it a one-point game, 50-49, with 7:48 to go. GSW held the Golden Rams on its next possession and Kwei Lartey converted a pair of free throw attempts to give the Hurricanes their first lead since late in the first half (2:25).
The teams exchanged baskets until Albany State took the lead for good with 4:17 remaining. GSW's offense went silent again, failing to score during a three-minute and 40 second stretch that allowed the Golden Rams to pull away.
GSW finished with a 35-32 edge on the glass, had one more assist (11-10) and two more steals (10-8), but Albany State posted a difference-making 20-9 advantage in points off turnovers.
Who Stood Out: Lartey and Morgan scored in double figures along with Dean. Lartey finished with a team-high 16 points and seven rebounds. Morgan connected on seven of 10 shot attempts en route to his 15 points in only 25 minutes of action. Dean scored 12.
Tyrell Williams and Randy McClure led Albany State (1-3) to its first win of the season. Williams scored 16 points and McClure added 14 as both men grabbed eight rebounds.
Up Next: The Hurricanes (1-3) will take a short break for Thanksgiving before opening Peach Belt Conference play on Saturday, Dec. 1, at USC Aiken.