An increased defensive effort sparked a strong comeback for Georgia College men’s basketball (11-14, 8-9 PBC) Wednesday, as the Bobcats beat Francis Marion University (4-20, 3-14 PBC) 90-79 at the Centennial Center.

Francis Marion was in control for much of the contest, leading 45-36 at the break, and by as much as 61-44 just under five minutes into the second half.

The Bobcats tightened the defensive clamps, causing 14 second-half turnovers and knocking down eight three-pointers after the break to rally.

After the massive 17-point deficit at the 15:33 mark in the second half, the Bobcats clawed their way back to take a 74-71 lead on a three-pointer by Christian Koneman (Chatsworth) with 4:29 remaining.

The Bobcats controlled things from there, getting points from six different players over the remainder of the contest.

Junior Jordan Thomas (Conyers) led the Bobcats with 31 points, going 9-for-17 from the field, 6-for-9 from long range and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line. It was Thomas’ fourth 30-point game this season. He filled the boxscore with four steals, five rebounds and three assists.

Classmate Justin Cave (Savannah) made his presence felt with 24 points, hitting 6-of-10 from beyond the arc and adding five assists.

The win gives the Bobcats two victories over the Patriots in the same season for the first time since 2007-08.

Also in Wednesday’s contest, Thomas passed Shaun Keaton (2009) to take sixth in all-time scoring at Georgia College. Thomas now has 1,402 career points, looking up at Aaron Clark (2008) in fifth with 1,467.

The victory moves the Bobcats to 8-9 in league play, tied for sixth in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) standings. The top eight advance to the PBC Tournament March 4.

The Bobcats are back in action Saturday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m., playing host to the University of North Georgia for homecoming at the Centennial Center.

Bobcat women drop home battle with FMU

Georgia College women’s basketball (5-20, 2-15 PBC) started strong but couldn’t stave off a Francis Marion University (12-11, 8-9 PBC) rally Wednesday, falling 62-51 in the Centennial Center.

Georgia College had a hot start, leading 20-13 after the first quarter, thanks to eight points from Harper Vick (Marietta) and shooting 6-for-8 from the field as a team. The Bobcat lead reached its height of 18-8 at the 2:19 mark in the first quarter.

FMU came storming back, taking over at the 4:16 mark in the second quarter at 25-23 on a three by Scarlett Gilmore. The Patriots wouldn’t relinquish the lead for the remainder of the contest.

Vick led all scorers with 20 points, hitting just 4-for-14 from the field, but making up for that with a 12-for-15 effort at the free-throw line. She passed the 20-point mark for the fifth time this season, and also nabbed a career-best seven rebounds.

Junior Keyonna Wesley (Pearson) had her 10th double-digit scoring game this season with 11 points. Freshman Caroline Wysocki (Flowery Branch) added eight points off the bench.

The Bobcats evened out the rebounding numbers at 32 apiece and turnovers at 12 apiece, but the Patriots pounded the paint to a 26-18 scoring advantage up close.

The loss puts GC at 2-15 in Peach Belt Conference (PBC) play, eliminating the Bobcats from the PBC Playoffs.

The Bobcats are back in action Saturday, Feb. 22 at 3:30 p.m., playing host to No. 13 University of North Georgia for homecoming at the Centennial Center.

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