R.J. Session scores 29, but Columbus State loses to Lander

Freshman scores 29 points to lead Columbus State

FROM STAFF REPORTSJanuary 2, 2014 

Freshman scores 29 points to lead Columbus State

FROM STAFF REPORTS

GREENWOOD, S.C. -- Freshman R.J. Sessions scored a career-high 29 points, hitting nine 3-pointers, but it wasn't enough as Columbus State fell at Lander 81-80 on Thursday night at Horne Arena.

With Sessions, a Northside alum, hitting three 3-pointers in the first 11 minutes of the game, the Cougars (7-3, 1-2 Peach Belt Conference) built a 16-point lead, 28-12, but Lander controlled much of the game after that.

The Bearcats (7-5, 1-2) fought back to pull within three late in the first half and trailed 40-35 at intermission.

Lander finally took the lead, 50-48, on JR Washington's 3-pointer with 14:31 left in the second half.

The Bearcats eventually built a 10-point lead as Dermaine Smith hit two free throws for a 65-55 lead with 8:51 left. Smith finished with a double-double, 24 points and 13 rebounds.

The Cougars fought back, climbing to within three,

73-70, on Kenney Funderburke's 3-pointer with 4:12 remaining.

Sessions hit his eighth 3-pointer of the game with 1:18 left to pull CSU within two, 77-75.

Lander missed a shot on its next possession, but CSU knocked the rebound out of bounds. Washington was fouled with 20.7 seconds left and hit one of two free throws for a 78-75 lead.

Sessions missed a 3-pointer to tie, and Lander's Jareal Smith got the rebound and was fouled. He made both free throws for a 80-75 lead.

Shane Heyward made a layup with 5 seconds left to pull CSU within three. CSU fouled Michael Panaggio, and he made 1-of-2 free throws for an 81-77 lead with 4 seconds left.

Sessions hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final score.

Funderburke had 18 points, and Heyward added 13.

DeAngelo Kirkland led CSU with 10 rebounds. Heyward added eight.

CSU will play at USC Aiken on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

COLUMBUS STATE UNIVERSITY (7-3, 1-2 PBC)

R.J. Sessions 10-14 0-0 29; Kenney Funderburk 6-12 5-6 18; Shane Heyward 6-11 1-4 13; DeAngelo Kirkland 3-8 1-1 7; Jahmad Saleem 2-3 1-1 5; BJ Battle 1-4 0-0 3; Nick Turner 1-5 0-0 3; Brandon Dawson 1-4 0-0 2; Jermaine Morgan 0-1 0-0 0; Dimitri Davis 0-1 0-0 0; Derrick Spear 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-63 8-12 80.

LANDER (7-5, 1-2 PBC)

Dermaine Smith 10-15 4-4 24; Jareal Smith 5-13 4-4 14; Michael Panaggio 3-7 5-7 12; JR Washington 4-10 1-2 10; Darius Carrier 3-5 2-2 8; Mario Pendarvis 2-6 2-2 6; Mike Lee 2-2 0-0 5; Ricardo Martin 1-3 0-0 2; Alen Hardy 0-0 0-0 0; Denzel Myers 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 30-61 18-23 81.

Halftime--Columbus State 40-35. 3-point goals--Columbus State University 12-26 (R.J. Sessions 9-12; Nick Turner 1-3; BJ Battle 1-3; Kenney Funderburk 1-2; Brandon Dawson 0-3; Dimitri Davis 0-1; DeAngelo Kirkland 0-2), Lander 3-16 (Michael Panaggio 1-4; JR Washington 1-6; Mike Lee 1-1; Mario Pendarvis 0-1; Jareal Smith 0-4). Fouled out--Columbus State University-None, Lander-None. Rebounds--Columbus State University 36 (DeAngelo Kirkland 10), Lander 35 (Dermaine Smith 13). Assists--Columbus State University 19 (Kenney Funderburk 5), Lander 15 (Michael Panaggio 4). Total fouls--Columbus State University 22, Lander 13. Technical fouls--Columbus State University-None, Lander-None. A-350

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