Columbus – The Columbus State University women's basketball team used a 22-2 run in the first half and held off a strong second half rally by Georgia College to defeat the Bobcats 70-60 Saturday afternoon in Peach Belt Conference action inside the Lumpkin Center.
With the victory, the Lady Cougars clinched a spot in the upcoming PBC Tournament for the 22nd straight season. CSU will be the only team in conference history to have participated in every basketball tournament dating back to 1992.
CSU has also won four straight games and seven of their past eight, their best stretch since the 2009-2010 season.
Georgia College (12-11, 8-8 PBC) scored the game's first four points and six of the first eight to take an early 6-2 lead.
However from the 16:19 mark until the eight minute mark, the Lady Cougars outscored the Bobcats 22-2 to take an commanding 24-8 lead. CSU used a quick 10-0 spurt which was started by a Marina DeFoor three-pointer. After a steal on the following possession, Chatil Bradford laid a bucket in to give CSU a 7-6 lead, their first lead of the contest.
After a GC free throw that broke the 10-0 run, the Lady Cougars responded this time going on a 9-0 run to up their advantage to 21-7. A Kiersten Reid trifecta capped off the 22-2 run and gave CSU a 24-8 advantage with eight minutes left in the opening half.
During the run, DeFoor and Reid paced the offense knocking down two three-pointers apiece while the Lady Cougar defense held Georgia College without a field goal for eight minutes and 47 seconds.
Columbus State (15-9, 11-6) took a 37-17 lead into the locker room after Kayla Richards hit the team's seventh three-pointer of the half.
Coming out of the break, the Lady Cougars continued to build their lead eventually taking a game high 22-point advantage, 44-22, with 18:20 remaining.
With a blowout loss looming, Georgia College responded in a big way scoring 16 unanswered points to get the deficit down to just six, 46-40, with 11:01 showing on the clock. Similar to CSU's run in the first, Georgia College held the Lady Cougars scoreless for six minutes and 31 seconds while the Bobcats went 5-for-6 from the field.
CSU quickly pushed the lead back to double digits after a Tae Smith layup and a DeFoor three.
After Georgia College got within six for a second time, 53-47, with 7:48 left in the game, the Lady Cougars went on a 10-0 run to stretch their lead to 63-47 with just five to go in the contest. Back-to-back threes by DeFoor and Candice Edmundson followed by a Taren White layup closed the spurt in fashion.
Georgia College would get within single-digits in the final two minutes but never threatened the lead.
Columbus State had one of its best long-range shooting days of the season as the Lady Cougars were 11-for-23 from beyond the arc. The 11 made threes tied a season high mark.
Kiersten Reid scored a career high 17 points going 5-of-13 from the field including a 5-for-9 performance from beyond the arc. Marian DeFoor was 4-for-5 from downtown while scoring 12 points.
Asha Alexander had a solid performance on Saturday scoring four points, dishing out a season high six assists and collecting a team high eight rebounds.
Overall, CSU shot 39 percent (23-for-59) and lost the rebounding battle 40-34 marking just the fourth time this season that the Lady Cougars won a game in which they were out-rebounded.
For Georgia College, Shanteona Keys recorded a double-double scoring a game high 20 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Enisha Donley chipped in with 15.
Columbus State will now have a week off before playing its first ever game in Young Harris as the Lady Cougars battle the Mountain Lions on Saturday, February 23 at 1:30 p.m.