COLUMBUS -- The Columbus State men’s basketball team had faced this same test just four days earlier and failed. Wednesday night, the Cougars aced it.
The Cougars overcame a 15-point, first-half deficit to beat Georgia College 56-51 in a Peach Belt Conference game at the Lumpkin Center.
The Cougars held a five-point lead with less than two-minutes to play against Southern Poly Tech on Saturday and ended up losing.
Against Georgia College, the Cougars (7-5, 2-1) held a six-point lead, 52-46 with 2:22 remaining. The Bobcats (7-4, 0-2) scored the next five points to close to within one, 52-51, with 54.1 seconds left.
But the Cougars’ Paul Darkwa grabbed an offensive rebound off a miss by Winford Ivey. Darkwa was fouled and hit both free throws with 21.3 seconds left.
Then on an inbounds play with 9.1 seconds left, Ivey stole the ball. After he was fouled, Ivey iced the game with a pair of free throws.
“We knew the game situation, the game clock,” Columbus State head coach Robert Moore said. “We did a better job with time management, and a lot of that has to do with Winford Ivey. Every game in this league is going to be 2-3 points, and you to manage those situations. Saturday, we basically gave it away.”
Guard Quin Bivins scored 16 points for Georgia College. But he failed to score in the second half as he played only seven minutes and was 0-for-3 from the field.
Columbus State 57, Georgia College (women) 46
Columbus State sophomore Chatil Bradford scored a team-high and season-high 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Lady Cougars’ victory.
“I think our team has figured out we have more than one or two bullets,” Columbus State head coach Jonathan Norton said. “We had players step up (Wednesday) like Chatil Bradford, who came in and hit open shots, drove it to the lane. She gave us a huge lift.”
Bradford’s performance offset sub-par nights by Dominique Gilbert and Shan Basley, who were a combined 1-18 from the floor. Gilbert, who was averaging 14.2 points per game, finished with five points, all on free throws. Basley, who was averaging 9.2, finished with two. The only shot she hit was a 10-footer in the lane.
CSU shook off a slow start and went on a 12-4 run to go from a two-point lead, 13-11, to a 10-point lead, 25-15.
After Georgia College got within seven, 29-22, at halftime, Columbus State scored the first seven points of the second half. The lead grew to as many as 19 points from there.
With the win, the team’s second straight, the Lady Cougars (7-5, 2-1 Peach Belt Conference) ended a five-game losing streak to the Lady Bobcats (2-9, 0-2).
Shanteona Keys led Georgia College, which has lost four straight and 9-of-10, with a game-high 16 points.