AMERICUS, Ga. -- The Georgia Southwestern State University men's basketball team utilized a strong second half behind 56 percent shooting to pull away from Albany State University, 75-66, Monday evening in the Storm Dome.
How It Happened: Reigning Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week Jamari Dean did not disappoint the home fans as he turned in his third consecutive double-double with game highs in points (18) and rebounds (16) to keep the Hurricanes undefeated at 3-0 this season.
It took a few minutes for GSW to get rolling offensively on Monday. Soloman Thomas scored the first points for GSW with 17:26 on the clock after Albany State had jumped out to a 9-0 lead. Following a basket by the Golden Rams, GSW went on a 9-0 run of their own, capped by a Devon Higgs layup, to pull within 11-9. Albany State answered and grabbed their largest lead of the night with 8:59 remaining in the opening half, 25-14, but GSW rattled off eight unanswered points over the next three minutes to pull within three. That margin held until the break.
Albany State led 33-30 at halftime.
The Hurricanes took their first lead of the game, 44-41, with 13:55 to play when Dean converted a 3-point play, but it wasn't until the 9:51 mark that GSW would grab the lead for good. Albany State hung around and was within four points, 65-61, with 3:08 to go. Abdul Dial made a layup to put GSW ahead by six with 1:55 remaining and, following a defensive stand, came back down the floor and calmly sank a pair of free throws to secure the win.
GSW continues to improve its long range shooting. The Hurricanes connected on 5 of 14 (35.7 percent) on Monday. The Hurricanes made 10 more free throws (22) than Albany State attempted (12), and GSW won the rebounding battle, 41-26.
Who Stood Out: Dean had 12 of his rebounds in the second half and knocked down 6 of 7 shots and 6 of 7 from the free throw line over the final 20 minutes. Thomas was 4-for-4 from the charity stripe and finished with 17 points. Dial and Jalen Cameron added 16 points apiece. Kahlon Whitley dished out five assists.
Albany State (1-4) was led by Randy McClure with 15 points. Napoleon Harris scored 11 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds.
Up Next: The Hurricanes have a week to prepare for Brewton-Parker College (3-5). The Barons come to town on Monday for a 7:30 p.m. game. It'll be Ricky Burgess Night. Burgess was GSW's play-by-play radio broadcaster for 45 years (1973-2018). He passed away in early October. A pregame banner ceremony will take place at 7:20 p.m.