FLORENCE, S.C. – The Georgia College men's basketball team (9-7, 3-5 PBC) let a second-half lead slip away in a loss at Francis Marion University (12-5, 5-4 PBC) 80-73 Friday night. Junior forward Ryan Aquino (Roswell, Ga.) scored a career-high 20 points in the losing effort.
GC led by as many as 10 in the second half at 53-43 with 15:22 left, but the Bobcats ran out of steam midway through the frame. GC had rallied late to bring it to one at 72-71 with 2:40 remaining, but a free throw and a following three by Evrik Gary put the game out of reach.
Aquino shot 7-of-14 from the floor including a pair from long range and added a team-high six boards. Junior guard Jared Holmes (Indianapolis) joined him with 20 pts, four rebounds and three assists. Holmes went 10-for-12 from the free-throw line.
A couple of freshman reserves had big games for the Bobcats, as forward Jordan Grant (Norcross, Ga.) tallied nine points and three boards in just seven minutes, and guard Joey Bell (Hinesville, Ga.) put in seven points with three rebounds.
"It could have gone either way at the end," said acting head coach Mark Gainous, "but they're big strong guys, and we just gave up too many offensive rebounds. I'm still encouraged by how much fight we had tonight, you just hate to lose games like that."
FMU won with balance, putting five in double-figure scoring. Dominique Coleman led with 21 points off the pine, and Liki Turner chipped in with 15 points and seven boards. Thirteen points and five assists was the line for Bryant Julious, while Gary had 10 points and Simel Boyd had 10 with a game-high eight rebounds.
The Patriots controlled the battle on the glass 37-20. Shooting was nearly dead-even as GC made 41 percent (23-56) from the floor and FMU matched that at 41 (22-54).
The Bobcats look to get back to their winning ways Sunday, Jan. 30 at 3:30 p.m. as they travel to UNC Pembroke (11-6, 4-5 PBC). The Braves are on a four-game slide, losing 67-64 to the University of Montevallo tonight.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, back-to-back winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at www.twitter.com/GCSUBobcats and www.facebook.com/gcbobcats for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GC Athletics Hall of Fame.