Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

November 26, 2012

GSW rebounds from tough loss with win over Tusculum College

AMERICUS — Michael Tankersley posted Georgia Southwestern's first double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds in a losing effort on Saturday afternoon in the Storm Dome as North Alabama defeated GSW, 64-58.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair as the lead was exchanged 11 times. GSW eventually utilized a 7-2 run near the end of the first half to open its largest lead of the afternoon at 29-22. The Lions capitalized on four consecutive GSW turnovers to trim the deficit to two points, 30-28, at the half.

Bruce Adams sank a 3-point basket on the first possession of the second half to give the visitors a 31-30 advantage.

After a free throw from Tankersley evened the game at 31-31, UNA scored five unanswered points to open a 36-31 lead. Leading up to that basket GSW was unable to record a field goal attempt over a 6:58 stretch that covered the end of the first half and spilled nearly three minutes into the second period. During that time GSW was outscored 12-3, committed seven turnovers and went 3 of 6 from the free throw line.

In what was a tight game throughout, UNA opened it's largest lead of the game with 16:10 to play at 38-31.

Back-to-back three-point baskets from Derrick Dawkins and Matt Shaw quickly pulled GSW within a point at 38-37. After GSW held UNA on the ensuing possession, Jamon Hawkins gave the Hurricanes the lead, 39-38, with a pair of free throws at the 12:04 mark.

The two sides went back-and-forth again as UNA went ahead by six points and a Hawkins' layup with 6:56 remaining gave GSW a four-point lead, 51-47.

UNA's Marquel Darrington took over. Darrington scored seven unanswered points to put the Lions ahead for good at 54-51.

The Hurricanes pulled within two (60-58) with 22 seconds to play, but Nathan Spehr connected on two free throws and Adams added a layup at the buzzer to make the final score 64-58.

GSW controlled the inside throughout the game, grabbing eight more rebounds (40-32) and posting a dozen more points in the paint (28-16) than the Lions.

However, UNA capitalized on 23 Hurricane turnovers and held a points off turnovers advantage of 19-11. GSW has committed 20 or more turnovers three times this season after recording only six games with turnovers in excess of 20 all of last year.

The Hurricane defense was once again stout, holding UNA to 29 points below its season average.

UNA finished the game shooting 37.3 percent. GSW connected on 40 percent from the floor.

Dawkins joined Tankersley in double figures with 12 points for GSW while adding four assists. Alan Arnett came off of the bench to chip in 10 points and seven rebounds.

Rashaun Claiborne led UNA with 14 points and seven rebounds. Lonnie Smith added 13 points off the bench.

Following the tough loss to UNA, Shaw scored a career-high 27 points in 24 minutes of action to lead the men's basketball team past Tusculum College, 75-60, on Sunday afternoon in the Storm Dome.

The Hurricanes moved back over .500 with a record of 3-2. Tusculum has lost three-straight games and falls to 1-4.

The Blue & Gold wasted little time jumping into the lead on Sunday, scoring the first seven points of the game. Jamon Hawkins dished assists to Milos Kleut and Shaw for early layups. Tankersley knocked down a free throw to complete the run.

GSW led wire-to-wire. The closest the Pioneers would get was three points when Addison Flynn hit a 3-pointer at the 16:53 mark of the opening half to make the score 10-7.

The Hurricanes took a 36-27 lead into the halftime break.

A Tankersley dunk with 17:42 to play gave GSW an 11-point lead. The Southwestern advantage would remain in double figures the rest of the way.

GSW opened its largest lead of the afternoon with 5:54 remaining when Alan Arnett drilled a 3-pointer to put the Hurricanes ahead 68-48.

Southwestern controlled the inside throughout, grabbing nine more rebounds (36-27) while posting 24 more points in the paint (44-20) than the Pioneers.

The Hurricane defense was strong once again, as Tusculum finished 13 points below its season average.

The Pioneers finished the game shooting 39.1 percent. GSW connected on a red-hot 51.9 percent from the floor.

Arnett joined Shaw in double figures with a season-high 19 points for GSW after connecting on 3 of 6 from beyond the arc and knocking down all six of his free throw attempts. Hawkins added 10 points and a season-high seven assists.

Flynn played all 40 minutes and led TC with 17 points. Neal Spinks chipped in 13.

The Hurricanes return to the hardwood on Dec. 8 when they play their first road game of the season, a rematch with Tusculum in Greeneville, Tenn.

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