GC Men’s Basketball Falls at Clayton State in Overtime Thriller, 86-80

Freshman guard Justin Cave
Freshman guard Justin Cave

MORROW, Ga. – A huge second-half effort from freshman Justin Cave (Savannah) forced overtime for Georgia College Men's Basketball (10-12, 6-10 PBC), but Clayton State University (15-5, 13-3 PBC) pulled away in the extra frame, resulting in an 84-80 loss in overtime for the Bobcats Wednesday night on the road.

Cave had 16 points in the game, but 12 after the halftime break. The rookie nailed a clutch three-pointer at the top of the key with 21 seconds left in regulation to help force overtime.

It took over halfway into the five-minute extra period for either team to score, but Clayton State did what they've done all season in hitting high-pressure free-throws to win games. The Lakers hit all six attempts from the free-throw line in overtime, and made 90 percent (26-for-29) overall for the game.

Freshman Jordan Thomas (Conyers) hit a huge three from the left wing to pull within one at 80-79 with 41 seconds left. The Lakers were fouled to push the lead back to three, and then Clayton State alertly fouled Thomas to force him to the line when the Bobcats needed three points. He made the first and missed the second on purpose, but the Lakers grabbed the rebound and hit some more free throws to push the game out of reach.

Cave finished with 16 points, hitting all six of his free-throw attempts and half of his shots from the floor (4-8). Thomas led the Bobcats in scoring with 19 points on 7-for-14 shooting, dropping four threes and yanking down five rebounds. Sophomore Kohl Roberts (Atlanta) had another strong ballgame with 17 points and nine boards.

It was a tight game throughout, featuring 10 ties and 16 lead changes. Neither team led by double digits the entire contest.

The loss dips Georgia College to 6-10 in Peach Belt Conference (PBC) play, tied for eighth in the league standings. The top eight advance to the PBC Tournament at the end of February.

The Bobcats are back in action Saturday, Feb. 10 at 3:30 p.m., traveling to Augusta University.

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 social media for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.