PEMBROKE, N.C. – Getting a massive 33 points from junior guard Wesley Simpson (DeLand, Fla./Union Grove HS [Ga.]), the Georgia College men's basketball team (4-2, 4-2 PBC) beat UNC Pembroke (2-3, 2-2 PBC) 76-74 on the road Saturday. The victory over the defending Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Champions extends the GC win streak to three.
Simpson hit from all places on the floor, going 10-for-15 overall, including 4-for-7 from three-point range. The junior also hit 9-of-10 from the free-throw line, but no points were bigger than his final three-point bucket, a hotly-contested 27-footer as the shot clock expired with 1:57 left in the game.
The contest was tight throughout, with the Bobcats trailing until about the midway point of the first half. Junior guard Chapin Rierson (Calhoun, Ga.) hit a three at the 9:46 mark in the first half, and the Bobcats looked to be in the groove.
GC led by as much as nine points, a 38-29 score the Bobcats held at halftime. Simpson had 13 points, including a trio of threes by the halftime break.
To their credit, the pesky young UNCP squad never gave up, even taking a couple of second-half leads. The Bobcats kept the advantage for the final 11:22 of the game, thanks in large part to hitting just enough free-throws down the stretch. Another big bucket was a layup from the left side by Christian Koneman (Chatsworth, Ga.) with 37 ticks left, one where the junior was bumped in mid-air and adjusted to muscle the shot home for a 71-64 lead.
UNCP made a trio of three-pointers in the final minute to cut the lead, but it wasn't enough.
Sophomore guard Brandon Thomas (McDonough, Ga.) scored a season-best 12 points, knocking down half of his six shots from long range. Koneman added 10 off the bench, as the Bobcat bigs were in foul trouble for much of the second half.
Georgia College out-shot UNCP 51 percent to just 39 percent from the field. The Bobcats also hit 40 percent (8-20) from long range and an impressive 74 percent from the charity stripe.
The Bobcats are back in action Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m., traveling to the University of North Georgia.