AIKEN, S.C. - Senior guard Shaun Keaton (Albany, Ga.) poured in a team-high 25 points, but it was junior Ty Rowland (Lilburn, Ga.) making not one, but two big shots to help Georgia College & State University basketball (21-5, 15-5 PBC) past No. 11 USC Aiken (21-6, 16-4 PBC) tonight (Feb. 28).
The Bobcats down three at 68-65 with 55 seconds left, Rowland drove to the hole, getting knocked in mid-air but completing the basket for the three-point play and a tie ballgame. Neither team scored in the final 50 seconds of regulation, forcing overtime.
There, the Bobcats once again found themselves down 72-71 with 33 seconds left, when Graham Martin (Marietta, Ga.) picked Josh Dollard's pocket. Running the clock down to 16 seconds, Rowland again drove to the hoop, making a layup to get a 73-72 advantage. The Pacers missed a three attempt and the tip attempt following failed to score as well.
Rowland finished with 14 points, getting 11 after the halftime break. He added four assists. Keaton was 8-for-16 from the field, including 5-for-8 from three-point en route to 25 points. The scoring was his fourth-straight 20-point game. The Bobcats also got 10 points from Martin.
The Pacers had three double-digit scorers themselves, as Dollard was 11-for-15 from the floor, netting 26 points with his eight boards. Casey McMasters had 13 off the pine, and defending Co-Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Player of the Year Chris Commons was held under his 17.7 season average, scoring just 11.
The win comes in GCSU's first overtime game of the 2008-09 season. The most recent overtime contest was Feb. 7, 2007, a loss at Columbus State University. The most recent overtime win was Feb. 1, 2006 at USC Aiken.
Georgia College now has 21 wins this season, tying for the eighth-most victories in school history. The Bobcats have now beaten the Pacers twice this season, and are 4-3 against nationally-ranked competition this year.
Keaton now has 1,307 points in his career, just one point away from sixth place and William Northcut (1985-89). Keaton made four free-throws tonight, passing Georgia College Athletics Hall of Famer Robert Williams (1973-77) into fourth in school history with 289 in Keaton's three-year career.
Senior Ken Kemp (Dublin, Ga.) nabbed five rebounds tonight, giving him 452 in his career. Kemp is now 17 behind Julius Wilcox (1984-88) and eighth place for Georgia College history.
The Bobcats have nearly a week off to prepare for the 2009 PBC Tournament, where they will return to Aiken, this year's host. Georgia College will face off with North Georgia (15-11, 9-11 PBC) Friday, March 6 at 3 p.m.
Visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame. The GCSU Department of Athletics sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, GCSU prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement.