GC Men’s Basketball’s Big Second Half a Necessity to Beat Bears, 76-72

GREENWOOD, S.C. – Sophomore guard Ryan Blumenthal (Kennesaw, Ga.) buzzed the nets for 25 points, leading a come-from-behind win Saturday night for Georgia College men's basketball (4-4) over Lenoir-Rhyne University (5-3) at the Finis Horne Holiday Classic, hosted by Lander University.

Blumenthal netted the career-high effort, his third 20-plus point performance of the season, thanks in large part to an amazing 12-for-12 effort from the free-throw line. The free-throw performance matches the school's best, done four other times. Graham Martin was the most recent to hit a perfect dozen in the 2009-10 season.

Junior Larrentis Thomas (McDonough, Ga.) came a single rebound shy of another double-double with a career-best 17 points and nine rebounds, adding a team-best three assists. Sophomore guard Terrell Harris (Indiantown, Fla.) had 13 points and six boards, while senior Royal Thomas (LaGrange, Ga.) rounded out the double-digit scorers at 10 points and nine rebounds as well.

Georgia College shot 88 percent (28-32) from the free-throw line, compared to just 69 percent (18-26) for the Bears. The squads were nearly even in shooting overall, with Georgia College's 40 percent edging LR's 39, and rebounding was knotted up at 38 apiece.

LR was led by 24 points from Will Perry and got great bench play, as K.T. Carter and Allan Jones put in 12 and 10 points, respectively. Jarvis Perry added 11 points from his starting spot. R.J. McClure came into the contest at 21.1 points per game and was held to just three points on four shots by a stingy Bobcat defense.

The Bobcats trailed for nearly the entire first half, picking up their first advantage at 36-35 with 32 seconds left before halftime on a pair of free-throws by Harris. Two Bear tosses from the stripe gave Lenoir-Rhyne a one-point 37-36 lead at the break.

Georgia College started the second frame on a 19-3 run, capped by a pair of free throws at the 13:13 mark by Larrentis Thomas. The Bobcats would hold the advantage for the remainder of the contest.

The Bobcats are back in action tomorrow, Dec. 22 at 1:30 p.m., playing the College of Coastal Georgia for the first time in program history to wrap up the two-game holiday classic.

The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 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 @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.