by Tyler Peck, sports information graduate
COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Georgia College & State University women's basketball team's (11-4, 4-1 PBC) defense stepped up big tonight holding the Peach Belt Conference's (PBC) leading scorer, Phebe Smith, to just seven points to defeat Columbus State University (9-7, 3-3 PBC) 53-45. Smith entered the game averaging 18.8 a contest.
Georgia College jumped out early to a 6-0 lead as Candice Clark (Warner Robins, Ga.) hit the first bucket of the night followed by four straight points from Antoinette Reames (Orlando, Fla.) two of which were free-throws. The Bobcats held the lead the entire first half and were up 21-20 despite shooting .241 (7-29) from the floor.
The Bobcats were down at one point 22-21 early in the second half after a Phebe Smith free-throw. After that, head coach John Carrick's ‘Cats never looked back and were up by as many as 11 points twice in the second frame.
Georgia College had three players score in double figures and one Bobcat recorded a double-double. Chimere Jordan (Gray, Ga.) led the squad with 15 points. Jordan also nabbed seven rebounds, had two dimes and one steal. Reames tallied her 10th double-digit scoring game and fifth double-double of the season as the senior forward notched 14 points and 10 caroms. Reames also had two swats on the night, which puts her at 99 blocks in her career. Clark had an impressive night and even set a career-high. The senior guard had 10 points, six boards and a career-best five steals.
The Bobcats were able to capitalize on their strong defensive effort, forcing the Cougars to 22 turnovers and shoot .315 (17-54) from the field. The Bobcat victory keeps the squad atop the PBC West standings. Georgia College has won four in a row and seven of its last eight.
Georgia College returns to the hardwood Saturday, Jan. 23 to face PBC newcomer University of Montevallo (10-5, 3-2) at 2:30 p.m. [eastern].
The GCSU Department of Athletics, winners of the 2008-09 PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 10 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Georgia College prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the Bobcats' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at Twitter.com username GCSUSID for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCSUBobcats.com to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GCSU Athletics Hall of Fame.