Three-Point Shot Spurs Columbus State to 79-76 Win over UNCP
Columbus – Columbus State shot a season-best 54.5% from three-point range knocking down 12-of-22 attempts as they bested UNC Pembroke 79-76 Saturday afternoon. The Peach Belt Conference matchup was played in the Lumpkin Center in Columbus.
The 12 trifectas also tied a season high total which was set in the Lumpkin Center versus West Alabama. CSU also tied their season-best field goal percentage (51.7%) connecting on 30-of-58 shots from the floor. That was despite the team missing their first seven shot attempts of the contest.
Neither side was able to produce much offensively to start the contest although UNCP was able to produce an 8-1 advantage through the first 5:06 of the game. After a Shahmel Brackett layup to begin the game, Ben Jacobs rattled off six consecutive points to give the visitors their largest lead of the contest.
CSU found their rhythm from there as they went on an impressive 25-6 run to go in front 26-14 with 7:16 to go in the opening half. Idell Bell and Winford Ivey each connected on a pair of long range shots while Steve Peterson netted five points and Darius Mcknight and Jarmarquis Steverson each added four.
Columbus State continued to score at a great clip eventually extending their lead to a game high 17 points (44-27) with 1:05 remaining in the first half.
Marcus Heath and Griffin Pittman each buried a three-pointer for the Braves to close out the half giving CSU a 44-33 lead heading into the break.
The second half of the game was all about runs which began with UNC Pembroke going on a 12-5 spurt to cut the Cougar lead down to five, 50-45 with exactly 16:00 showing on the clock.
That was quickly countered by CSU as they netted 11 straight points pushing the lead back to double digits, 61-45 with 12:33 to go in the game. Ivey was the lone player to hit a shot from downtown during that span as five different players scored for Columbus State.
After a Paul Darkwa dunk at the 5:11 mark put Columbus State ahead 73-62, UNCP made one final push to sneak away with the W. They outscored CSU by a 12-2 margin over the next three minutes which was capped off by pair of Marcus Heath free throws, cutting their deficit to 75-74.
Idell Bell was fouled on CSU's next offensive possession and the junior was only able to connect on 1-of-2 from the charity stripe putting the Cougars in front by two. Columbus State was able to force a missed shot on the defensive side of the floor but a turnover near midcourt lead to an easy layup for K.J Cooper tying the ballgame at 76-76, which was the first time the score was tied in the contest.
The Cougars missed two shots in the paint the next time down the court but UNC Pembroke was unable to corral the loose ball giving CSU another possession with the shot clock turned off. Winford Ivey received the in-bound pass underneath the hoop and was fouled sending the junior to the line where he calmly knocked down both free throws that put CSU ahead 78-76 with 33 seconds to go.
On the next possession, Heath tried to take the ball to the hoop for the Braves but Darius Mcknight came from the weak side to swat his fourth and most crucial shot of the game. UNCP kept possession after the rejection but were unable to get a quality look at the hoop coming out of the timeout and CSU regained possession.
Ivey was fouled on the in-bound and knocked down 1-of-2 from the line putting the Cougars ahead by three. A last second desperation shot by the road team went awry as Columbus State held on for the 79-76 victory.
Steve Peterson led all scorers with 22 points followed closely by Jarmarquis Steverson's 19. Idell Bell and Winford Ivey each dropped 12 points apiece as well. CSU held a 36-31 advantage on the glass led by Darius Mcknight's 11 boards.
Brackett paced UNCP netting 21 points wile Jacobs and Heath both had 12. Three players each grabbed six rebounds for the Braves. As a team, Pembroke shot 24-for-58 (41.4%) from the field and was nearly perfect from the free throw line nailing 19-of-22 shots (86.4%).
Columbus State will play the second of back-to-back games tomorrow afternoon as they play host to Francis Marion. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. inside the Lumpkin Center.