Georgia College's Chapin Rierson

Georgia College's Chapin Rierson (Georgia College Athletics)

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — The Georgia College Men’s Basketball team (10-11, 6-9 PBC) had trouble gathering a rhythm in taking on the Peach Belt Conference’s (PBC) top team in UNC Pembroke (17-4, 13-2 PBC), the Bobcats falling 75-58 Saturday in the Centennial Center.

The Braves started off strong, jumping out to a quick 11-2 lead in the first 2:30, the lead extending to 20-7 after 10 minutes. The Bobcats got it down to five at 21-16 on the 5:42 mark, but the Braves would maintain a comfortable distance from that point on.

The UNCP defense was stifling, as the Bobcats managed to shoot 35 percent (23-66) to 52 percent (26-50) for the Braves.

The Bobcats were led by freshman and former Calhoun High standout Chapin Rierson with 14 points, his fifth double-digit scoring game this year. Fellow rookie Justin Cave (Savannah) chipped in 13 points with four assists, leading Georgia College in that latter category. Cave was 3-for-6 from long range. Senior Brice Booker (Atlanta) supplied 10 points off the bench, adding four boards and three steals.

The Braves were balanced in scoring, putting five players in double-digits, led by 14 points from James Murray-Boyles.

The loss puts Georgia College at 6-9 in Peach Belt Conference (PBC) play, tied for eighth in the league standings. The top eight advance to the PBC Tournament at the end of February.

The Bobcats return to action Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., traveling to Clayton State University.

In other recent college basketball action:

Cheeks scores 16 in Lee loss

VALDOSTA, Ga. — A slow start against a very aggressive and hungry Valdosta State club proved costly to the Lady Flames on Saturday afternoon as they wrapped up a four-game road trip with a 67-62 loss to the Lady Blazers.

The defeat dropped the Lady Flames to 18-5 overall and 11-4 in Gulf South Conference play. Valdosta State improved to 16-7 and 10-5. Lee returns to Walker Arena on Thursday evening and will play host to long-time rival Union University. The action is slated to get underway at 7 p.m.

“I was very disappointed with the way our team came out in the first quarter,” noted coach Marty Rowe. “We had no focus and you can’t expect to do that against a good club, especially on the road. Give credit to Valdosta State. They came out ready for the challenge.”

The Lady Blazers jumped out to a 21-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter and forced the Lady Flames to play catch-up ball the rest of the way. Lee was only able to score 22 points in the entire first half while Valdosta grabbed a 35-22 lead at the break.

The margin grew to 17 points (47-30) midway of the third quarter before the Lady Flames started a comeback that fell just short. In the third frame the Lady Blazers outscored Lee 20-19 but the Lady Flames fought back and outscored the host club 21-12 in the final 10 minutes.

“After a timeout in the third quarter, our team finally started to respond,” said Rowe. “We actually had an opportunity to complete the comeback.” The contest was tied with 1:35 remaining but the Lady Blazers found a way to salt the key victory away.

Former Sonoraville High standout Carrie Cheeks stayed in foul trouble most of the contest but scored 16 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds in only 24 minutes of playing time. Erin Walsh helped lead the comeback with 15 points while Taylor Boggess gave her team a lift with four 3-pointers and 12 points. Abby Bertram added eight points in the loss.

Madi Mitchell led the Valdosta charge in the first half before the Lady Flames found a way to slow the talented post player. She still finished with 22 points and nine rebounds. Kenya Samone` Dixon nailed four key treys and finished the afternoon with a strong double-double, 19 points and 12 boards. Taylor Buie rounded out the double-figure scoring with 13 markers.

The Lady Flames only turned the basketball over seven times but shot just 36 percent from the field and only made seven trips to the charity stripe converting five. On the other hand, Valdosta shot 47 percent from the field and lit up the scoreboard with a 55 percent mark from beyond the arc. A key advantage came at the free-throw line where the Lady Blazers were awarded 20 freebies and knocked down 15.