Hurricanes blow out UNG, Secure PBC Tournament Bid

Published 2:26 am Tuesday, February 27, 2018

By Staff Reports


Dahlonega, GA – John Mason led four players in double-figures with 21 points to go along with eight rebounds as the Georgia Southwestern State men’s basketball team defeated North Georgia 84-66 in the regular season finale on Saturday, February 24, at North Georgia.

The Hurricanes defeated the Nighthawks in front of 2,688 people gathered to watch in the new UNG Convocation Center. GSW improves to 13-13 overall and 9-13 in the PBC. More importantly, they secured their spot in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament to be played this week. They are the number 7 seed.

Carrod Watson led the Nighthawks in scoring with 17 points. North Georgia falls to 12-16 overall and 10-12 in PBC play. They are the number 6 seed in the tournament.

The Hurricanes jumped out early, opening up a 9-2 lead on a Devin Watson layup with 16:57 to go, forcing UNG to call timeout. After both teams traded baskets, UNG closed the gap to 17-12 on a layup by Tyler Dominy with 11:29 left in the half. However, GSW took control the rest of the way.

The Hurricanes went on an 18-0 run over the next nine minutes to take a 35-12 lead with 2:23 left in the half.  John Mason scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds during that dominating stretch by the Hurricanes. By halftime, the Hurricanes owned a 38-20 lead.

North Georgia couldn’t get any closer than 18 points for the rest of the game. GSW shot 48.6% from the field (18-of-37) in the second half. They were also 7-of16 from beyond the arc. The Hurricanes built their largest lead of 30 with 2:57 left in the game.

R.J. Sessions scored a total of 18 points, 12 of them in the second half. He shot 50% (4-of-8) from three-point range. Sessions also grabbed seven rebounds, dished out four assists and recorded two steals. Hasaan Buggs recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Devin Watson also scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds on the day.

GSW barely outrebounded UNG 40-38, but forced the Nighthawks into committing 11 turnovers. The Hurricanes only turned the ball over four times.

Mason set a new career-high with 21 points, topping his previous best of 20 points against Augusta on Saturday, February 17. The freshman has scored in double-figures in six of his last eight games.

The Hurricanes will travel to face the number 2 seed UNC Pembroke on Wednesday, February 28, in the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.