The GC Men’s Basketball team squared off against Georgia Southwestern on Saturday, winning a nail-biter 86-83. This game served as a must-win for the Bobcats who are currently in the middle of the pack in the Peach Belt Conference and looking to emerge as a contender.
After trailing by 13 points at halftime, the Bobcats came out swinging in the second half with an astonishing 25-4 run to open the third quarter that included 22 unanswered points. The quick turnaround was in large part thanks to junior guard Jordan Thomas who sank three quick 3-pointers to get things back in reach and led the team in scoring with 20 points.
“The beginning of the second half is what won us the game, and the energy that we brought,” Thomas said. “We knew that was going to decide the game and we came out hot.”
Thomas also played efficient outside of scoring, grabbing six rebounds and picking up three assists. This feat came as no surprise as he was named preseason all-PCB and is showcasing why.
A collective defensive effort was another huge factor in changing the tides in the second half. The Bobcats held GSW scoreless for the first five minutes of the third quarter, forcing 15 turnovers and executing well with a whopping 25 points off turnovers.
“That’s one of the best second halves I’ve seen at GC in a long time,” said head coach Mark Gainous. “I thought everybody played well, nobody played poorly.”
Junior guard Justin Cave had a huge impact as well, scoring 17 points, hitting four 3-pointers and leading the team with three steals.
“The first half we just had a bad start,” Cave said. “We changed to our 1-3-1 defense, got on a roll, and just kept hitting shots.”
The fourth quarter saw five lead changes and remained close until the final buzzer. However, the main story of the game resulted from GC’s whopping 25 points off turnovers.
The Bobcats are currently 4-4 in conference play, tied for sixth place. At 6-8 overall, the team looks to continue to improve in the upcoming weeks in order to climb up in the conference rankings.
“I’m hoping this can create some momentum,” Gainous said. “We’ve got a two-game winning streak and obviously the Peach Belt is tough.”
Moving forward, the Bobcats will travel to Florence, SC to face off against Francis Marion on Jan. 22, followed by another important matchup versus Augusta next Saturday.