Poor shooting and defense leads to loss for jets against South Georgia Stat

Published 2:28 pm Thursday, February 21, 2019

AMERICUS – At halftime, the South Georgia Technical College men’s basketball team (12-15, 8-5 GCAA) only trailed 40-31 to the Hawks of South Georgia State (SGSC). However, the Jets shot 10 for 38 in the second half and 4 for 20 from beyond the arc. The Hawks were able to capitalize on SGTC’s inability to score by pulling away to defeat the Jets 73-57 on Wednesday, February 20, at the Hangar on the SGTC campus.

For the game, SGTC shot 22 for 69 from the field (31.9 percent) and 8 for 35 from beyond the arc (22.9 percent). The Jets also struggled from the foul line, shooting 5 for 10 (50 percent).

According to SGTC head coach Travis Garrett, it was a disappointing night for the Jets in all facets of the game. “We just didn’t come out with that energy and fire,” Garrett said. “I just think that when the games matter the most, just like a week ago at Georgia Highlands when we had a chance to get into first place in the conference, we didn’t meet the challenge. Tonight, we were half a game out of first place going into this game, but we didn’t meet the challenge. I thought that being home the rest of the year would give us some motivation to meet the challenge, but we didn’t do a good job tonight. We didn’t do a good job defending and rebounding. We couldn’t make plays. We settled for too many three-pointers instead of reversing the ball to get a quality shot every time. They were just a tougher team tonight. We have to give South Georgia State a lot of credit.”

SGTC guard Justin Johnson goes up for a defensive rebound. Johnson led the Jets with 14 points.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Jets had two players in double-figures. Justin Johnson led SGTC in scoring with 14 points and Toriano Lewis had 10. Adonis Green also chipped in seven points in the losing cause.

For the Hawks of SGSC (13-12-1, 5-6-1 GCAA), they had four players in double-figures. Keyshaun Street led them in scoring with 20 points and Skyler Baggs had 14. Dwayne Wilson also chipped in 11 for the Hawks. SGSC shot 30 for 60 from the field for the game (50 percent) and made 6 of 12 three-point attempts (50 percent).

This was a costly loss for the Jets. They had a chance to move into second place in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) standings. Had they won, they would have been tied for second with Georgia Highlands with three games to go. Instead, the Jets are currently 8-5 in the GCAA and are tied for fourth place with Andrew College.

Both teams were tied 4-4 early in the game before SGTC’s Jeremy Johnson hit a three-pointer. After that point, the Jets outscored the Hawks 6-4. However, SGSC went on an 8-0 run to take a 16-13 lead, forcing Garrett to call a timeout.

However, the Hawks continued their run after the timeout when Baggs scored to give SGSC an 18-13 lead. Lewis was fouled while shooting and made one of two free throws for the Jets.

However, the Hawks scored two more baskets, the latter coming from Street, to take a 22-14 lead. Jaylan McKiney hit a three-pointer to pull the Jets to within five at 22-17. However, the Hawks went on a 5-0 run to increase their lead by 10.

SGTC guard Nick Cummings goes up to score. Cummings had four points and seven rebounds in the loss to SGSC.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Jets fought to get back in it by scoring four straight points, including a basket by Nick Cummings with a less than six minutes to go in the half. SGSC responded with a 6-2 run to take a 33-24 lead.

The two teams traded baskets for the next two minutes. Then both teams went through a short scoring drought before Kamron Walters hit a jumper to give the Hawks a 38-31 lead with less than 40 seconds left in the half. SGSC scored two more points to take a 40-31 lead at the half.

The Jets struggled scoring in the first half. They shot 12 of 31 from the field (38.7 percent). Adonis Green led SGTC in the first half with five points and two rebounds. For SGSC, Antonio Vendola was already in double figures in the first half with 10 points. The Hawks shot 17 of 31 in the first half (54.8 percent).

Both teams were pretty even in first-half turnovers. The Jets committed six turnovers, while SGSC committed five.

The Hawks got off to a strong start in the second half as Street scored and was fouled. Street converted the three-point play to give SGSC a 43-31 lead.

Green scored the first points for the Jets in the second half, but SGTC had trouble stopping the Hawks on defense. SGSC went on an 8-2 run to start the second half, forcing Garrett to use one of his timeouts early with 16:55 to go in the game.

Street made things worse for the Jets as he hit a three-pointer to increase the Hawks’ lead to 52-33. The Jets continued to struggle offensively as they couldn’t make outside shots during this period of the game.

SGTC was able to get a basket from Cummings off an inbounds pass and then forced a turnover. This sparked a run as Lewis hit a three-pointer to cut the Jets’ deficit to 52-38.

SGTC forward Sam Matice stretches out and gets an offensive rebound. Matice scored four points and grabbed nine rebounds in the loss to the Hawks.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

However, the Jets continued to struggle defensively as they allowed SGSC to score an easy basket on the inside. This prompted Garrett to call another timeout with 13:49 to go. His team was down 56-38.

Lewis was able to hit another three-pointer to bring the Jets to within 15. SGTC got another basket to cut the Hawks’ lead to 56-43.

The game was paused momentarily because the ball was stuck between the backboard and the wall behind it. Once the game resumed, however, SGSC got another three-pointer by Street to put the Hawks up 59-43 with a little over 11 minutes left in the game. SGSC then scored another basket to increase their lead back up to 15 points. Jeremy Johnson tried to get the Jets back in it as he drove to the basket, but was called for an offensive foul.

With less then nine minutes to play, SGSC had built a 61-43 lead with the Jets still struggling to score. By the 5:44 mark, they had only scored two points. Fortunately for the Jets, SGSC was struggling to score as well, but they were leading 61-45. The Jets also continued to struggle with turnovers in the second half.

With 3:24 left, the Hawks led 63-45. Their lead grew even bigger with another three-pointer by Street.

The Jets had gone scoreless for almost six minutes before Brice Paster made one of two free throws. They scored five more points after that. However, with 58.4 seconds to go, SGSC maintained a 70-51 lead. DJ Foster scored and was fouled. He made the three-point play for SGTC, but it was too little too late as SGSC went on to win 73-57.

The Jets will try to get back in the win column and improve their position in the GCAA standings when they host Albany Technical College on Saturday, February 23. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.