MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. - After some tight first-half action, the Georgia College & State University men's basketball team (1-0) opened things up with a 34-10 run early in the second half to down Newberry College (0-2) 89-77 at "Mean in Green Night" in the Centennial Center. The victory was also the 475th in head coach Terry Sellers' career, 277 of which coming on the Georgia College bench.
The spurt began with a Ty Rowland (Lilburn, Ga.) three at the 19:01 mark, culminating with a Robert Praylo (Savannah, Ga.) trey nearly 10 minutes later. Praylo finished with five points in just six minutes of action.
Bobcat guard Graham Martin (Marietta, Ga.) paced the Bobcats with 21 points and six boards, knocking down 4-of-6 from long range. Point guard Rowland had a near double-double at 12 points and nine assists, adding five boards and a pair of blocks.
The ‘Cats were good from long range at 57 percent (12-21), including 67 percent (8-12) in the second half. Aiding Martin's four was Jake Rios (Bozeman, Mt.) with 3-of-4, finishing with 15 points. Forwards Reece Wiedeman (Suwannee, Ga.) and Robert Thomas (Mankato, Minn.) capped the double-digit scorers with 10 points each.
The Bobcats shot 59 percent (30-51) from the floor, compared to Newberry's 45 percent (30-67). Georgia College out-rebounded Newberry 33-29, but lost on the offensive glass 13-8. Georgia College won convincingly despite turning the ball over 19 times while causing 13.
Newberry's Ray Robinson led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-14 from the floor and six offensive rebounds, but got little help. Stephane Bakinde had 12, mirrored by Aaron Edwards off the pine.
The Bobcats were down 39-37 at half, but used the big run to take the lead. GCSU stretched it to 10 at 57-47 on a Thomas lay-in with 13:28 left, keeping the double-digit advantage for the remainder of the contest.
The 21 points took Martin over the 900 point mark in his career with 904. Rowland's nine assists give him 222 in his career, passing Mike Brown (1994-96), Keb Burley (1991-93) and Marcus Langston (1996-98) into eighth in the school's tome.
The Bobcats are back in action again at home Saturday, Nov. 21 at 3:30 p.m. hosting the University of West Georgia. The pre-game barbeque, sponsored by Sodexo and the "GCSU Thunder Crew" student spirit group, begins at 1:30 p.m.
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, Georgia College prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.