The first time they met in Griffin, Ga. five weeks ago, the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats endured a 99-51 throttling at the hands of the Southern Crescent Tigers.
Monday night, back in the friendly confines of the Rossville Athletic Center, the Tigers got a much stiffer challenge from a more defensive-minded clowder of Bobcats.
Down by as many as 14 points in the first half, the Bobcats came storming back in the second half to tie the game with less than a minute left. However, it would ultimately be the Tigers that got the win as they connected on the game-winner with less than two seconds to play and escaped the R.A.C. with a 54-52 victory.
The Bobcats had trouble finding their range in the first half against the bigger Tigers and fell behind 33-20 at halftime. Georgia Northwestern attempted 13 three-pointers in the first half, but connected on just three attempts.
But after a few minutes of regrouping in the locker room, the Bobcats came out gunning.
Cole McKeehan connected on two 3-pointers in the first minute of the second half and, following a layup by J.T. Langford, Jarret Gill hit a 3-pointer which suddenly trimmed the Tigers' lead down to 37-35.
The Tigers would push the lead back to five with 11:38 left to play, but another three-ball by McKeehan and a long two-point basket from Jayce Harris would get the lead back down to 52-50 with just over two minutes remaining. Mark Chester would later connect on two free throws with 1:13 left to finally tie the game.
But Southern Crescent would get the final say. With the clock winding down, the ball would eventually end up in the hands of Kahlil Brown, who cut to the basket for what turned into the winning lay-up with 1.7 seconds remaining. A final desperation heave by the Bobcats would miss the mark.
Remarkably, the Tigers claimed the win despite going 6-for-16 from the free throw line and missing all 13 of their 3-point attempts. Meanwhile, the Bobcats went 12-of-15 from the free throw line and went 8-of-21 from behind the arc.
Brown had a team-best 17 points for the Tigers, followed by Tarique Gray with 10 points.
McKeehan had 17 points to pace the Bobcats while Gill finished with 13 points. Langford ended his night with six points, while Harris, Justin Smith and Kannen Derryberry all had four points apiece. Chester had three points and led the team with seven rebounds and three assists, while Hayden Murphy accounted for one point.
The Bobcats (2-7) will be at home this Saturday for a 1 p.m. game against West Georgia Tech. It will be the final game of the month for Georgia Northwestern.
Southern Crescent women 61, Georgia Northwestern 34
In the afternoon's first game, the Lady Tigers never trailed as they led 35-12 at halftime.
Iuanna Slaughter finished with 12 points for the visitors, followed by Tay Grant with 11.
For the Lady Bobcats (4-7), Abby Dalton once again lead her team with 12 points. Tori Harvey had 10 points and seven rebounds, while Gracen Hobbs finished with five points.
Mia Clark had four points. Jerriale Jackson had two points, but grabbed eight more rebounds and Katelyn O'Toole finished with one point as the Lady Bobcats saw their three-game winning streak snapped.
The Lady Bobcats will return to action on Jan. 5 with a home game against Massasoit Community College out of Massachusetts.