Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

February 9, 2013

GSW Lady ‘Canes lose first half lead in loss to PBC rival Columbus State

AMERICUS — On Thursday night in the Storm Dome in Americus, the Georgia Southwestern Lady Hurricanes met up with Peach Belt Conference West Division rival Columbus State. Despite a strong first half from the Lady ‘Canes, Columbus State would roar to life in the second half and steal a win from the home team while extending the Blue and Gold’s current losing streak to double-digits at 10 games.

Columbus State would start the scoring in the first half of the Peach Belt contest, but the Lady ‘Canes would go on an early run on behind the strong play of Kayla Dayton to dominate the game early. Dayton would score Georgia Southwestern’s first points with a long three-point basket, and follow with a pull-up two to give the Lady ‘Canes a 5-2 lead.

Following a 8-0 run, GSW would quickly find themselves with a 13-7 lead, and throughout the most of the first half the two conference rivals would go back-and-fourth in scoring. A late eight point run by Columbus State would tie the game at 33-33 with only 1:19 remaining in the half, but the Lady ‘Canes would use an exciting 5-0 run to close out the first half with a 38-33 lead. Stormy Smith would start the run with a lay-up, and with less than 10 seconds remaining Shaniece Sheffield would steal the Lady Cougars inbound and go up for a basket as time expired. Sheffield would be fouled on the play but still find the net, and sink her free throw to give the Lady ‘Canes a 38-33 halftime lead.

Unfortunately for the Lady ‘Canes, a strong end to the first half would not carry over to the second half as Columbus State came out of the locker room on a mission. The Lady Cougars would open the period with a 10-0 run to quickly take a five point lead, and the margin would only grow as the half progressed. Columbus State would keep the GSW in check on offense for the remainder of the game while finding their own stride on offense, and as they final seconds ticked off the clock the Lady Cougars exited the court with an impressive 79-61 come from behind win.

Dayton would add five points in the second half to her nine first half points to finish as the Lady ‘Canes leading scorer with 14 points. The only other GSW player to finish the night in double-digits was Ottishia Burden who ended the contest with 10 points. Shan Basley was the leading scorer for Columbus State with 22 points.

The loss dropped GSW to 3-18 overall this season overall and 1-13 in Peach Belt Conference play. Columbus State moved to 12-9 overall with the win and pushed their Peach Belt Record to 8-6.

The Lady ‘Canes will attempt to break their losing streak on Wednesday when they travel to Montevallo to take on the Lady Falcons at 6:30 p.m. Earlier this season the Lady ‘Canes dropped a heart-breaking 92-83 decision in overtime to Montevallo in Americus.

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