Down by seven points early in the game on Tuesday, the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats came roaring back to take the lead at halftime and went up by double digits in the second half. However, the visiting Dalton State College club team would have the final say as they rallied for an 82-69 victory at the Rossville Athletic Center.
The Roadrunners, who literally took the game just four-and-a-half hours before tip-off after Georgia Gwinnett College - the Bobcats' scheduled opponent - had to cancel, jumped out to a 10-3 advantage early in the opening half. But Georgia Northwestern, who matched Dalton State with seven first-half threes, would battle back.
The remainder of the first half would feature five ties and four lead changes before the Bobcats would take a narrow 35-34 lead into the locker room. Jeremy Wilson had an impressive first 20 minutes for the home team as he scored 16 points without missing a single shot (6-of-6 FG, 3-3 3-pointers, 1-1 FT).
Georgia Northwestern would stay hot in the first four minutes of the second half as a 7-1 spurt blossomed into a 15-6 run that gave the hosts a 50-40 lead with 16:19 to play and forced the Roadrunners to call a timeout.
Coming out of the brief break, the Bobcats would extend their lead to 11 with just over 14 minutes remaining, but Dalton State would start to heat up again, especially from behind the arc, while GNTC began to cool off. Dalton would go 7-of-14 from long range in the second half with the Bobcats managing to connect on just 3-of-11 in that same span.
Georgia Northwestern desperately tried to hold on to the lead, but the Roadrunners would finally go back in front, 65-64, on a move in the lane by Gavin Hall with 5:34 to play. That basket would kick-start a decisive game-ending 17-5 run, highlighted by Nick Banks, who scored 10 points by himself in the final 3:35, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Banks, along with Mon'Darius Black, had 16 points each in the victory, while Briqarius James and Da'vae Hughley both finished with 14 points. Hughley grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds.
Wilson and Jayce Harris paced the Bobcats with 18 points each, while Harris pulled down a game-high 11 boards. Jarret Gill had eight points, while J.T. Langford and Cole McKeehan added six each. Mark Chester and Hayden Murphy both scored five, while three points by Kannen Derryberry rounded out the scoring.
The Bobcats (5-16) will head to Carrollton, Ga. on Saturday to take on West Georgia Tech at 2 p.m. and both the Bobcats and Lady Bobcats will close out the regular season at home on Feb. 19 with a doubleheader. The Lady Bobcats will face Dalton State's club team at 6 p.m., followed by the Bobcats' game with the Hiwassee College JV squad at 7:30.