MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - Hitting 50 percent (30-60) from the floor, Clayton State University men's basketball upset No. 14 Georgia College & State University 77-66 Wednesday night at the Centennial Center in the quarterfinals of the Marvin Vanover Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Basketball Tournament, sponsored by Geico.
Clayton keeps its season alive at 16-12 advancing to the semifinals, facing USC Aiken Saturday, March 6 at 8 p.m. in the USCA Convocation Center. The 22-5 Bobcats' hopes of a PBC Tournament title come to a close, as now the No. 2 team in the region waits for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Guard Timothy Downs led the Laker charge with 17 points, adding six rebounds. He got help from Jaquas Dobbs with 14 points, Brandon Robinson with 12 and Robert Murry at 11.
For the Bobcats, senior guard Graham Martin (Marietta, Ga.) had his first career double-double with 11 points and a career-best 10 boards, while senior guard Ty Rowland (Lilburn, Ga.) had 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Senior guard Jake Rios (Bozeman, Mt.) led the squad with 17 points, hitting 4-of-6 from downtown.
The Bobcats struggled from the field, hitting just 31.7 percent (20-63) from the floor, including a paltry 29.4 percent (10-34) in the first half. The Lakers shot 52.8 percent (19-36) in that same half, jumping out to a 45-29 halftime lead.
The Lakers won in bench points (21-16), points off turnovers (17-7) and in the paint (46-16). Georgia College tried to get back in it via the three-point shot, but hit just 10-of-37 (.270) on the game.
The Bobcats started out well, owning a 20-14 lead with 11:16 left in the first half. Clayton took over there, going on a 31-9 run for the remainder of the first stanza. The Bobcats whittled away at a second-half advantage that reached a height of 20, getting it down to as low as seven, but could reach no closer.
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, 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. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.