Columbus State men lose game but clinch Peach Belt tourney berth

FROM STAFF REPORTSFebruary 26, 2014 

DAHLONEGA, Ga. -- Columbus State lost the game Wednesday night but won the bigger prize by clinching a berth in next week's Peach Belt Conference tournament.

The Cougars, who fell to North Georgia 77-74, clinched the berth when Clayton State lost 90-69 to Young Harris. CSU and Clayton State play each other Saturday with CSU holding just a one-game lead.

But the Cougars own the tiebreaker over Clayton State, so the outcome of that game doesn't matter as CSU will be the No. 4 seed from the Western Division when the the men's tourney tips off on March 7 at the Lumpkin Center.

If Clayton State won Saturday, the two teams would be tied for the final tournament berth. The first tiebreaker is head to head, which wiuld be tied at 1 win apiece. The next tiebreaker is record in the division and both would be 4-8. The next tiebreaker is record againt the division No. 1 team. CSU is 1-1 against Montevallo, while Clayton State went 0-2.

Wednesday night's loss was similar to many others the Cougars have suffered. It was the seventh time they lost a game in which it held a double-digit lead.

Shane Heyward, who finished with 17 points, made a dunk with 10:22 left in the game to give the Cougars a 66-56 lead.

Just over three minutes later, the Nighthawks had rallied to tie the game at 67.

But CSU (13-12, 7-11) responded with a 7-0 run as DeAngelp Kirkland made a layup, BJ Battle made a 3-pointer and Kirkland added another layup. That layup with 3:37 left would be CSU's final points.

The Nighthawks (12-12, 9-9) scored the game's final 10 points. CSU missed five shots and three free throws to go with two turnovers in the final 3:37.

Battle led CSU with 20 points. Kirkland added 14.

Michael Varrichione and Chris Tanzy scored 16 points apiece for the Nighthawks.

COLUMBUS STATE (13-12, 7-11 PBC)

BJ Battle 7-17 0-1 20; Shane Heyward 7-11 3-5 17; DeAngelo Kirkland 6-9 2-6 14; Kenney Funderburk 3-11 3-5 9; Ty Harris 3-9 0-0 6; Nick Turner 1-1 0-0 3; Jahmad Saleem 1-3 1-2 3; Dimitri Davis 1-1 0-0 2; R.J. Sessions 0-2 0-0 0; Jonathan Manning 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-65 9-19 74.

NORTH GEORGIA (12-12, 9-9 PBC)

Michael Varrichione 8-10 0-2 16; Chris Tanzy 7-11 0-0 16; Ishmael Hollis 6-11 2-2 15; Shaquan Cantrell 3-7 3-4 9; Brian Cole 3-5 0-0 6; Travis Core 2-4 2-3 6; Lamar Richardson 2-9 0-0 5; Andrew Lawrence 1-2 1-2 4; Corey Green 0-3 0-0 0; Taylor Metzger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-62 8-13 77.

Halftime--Tied at 38. 3-point goals--Columbus State 7-21 (BJ Battle 6-14; Nick Turner 1-1; Kenney Funderburk 0-3; R.J. Sessions 0-2; Jonathan Manning 0-1), North Georgia 5-14 (Chris Tanzy 2-2; Ishmael Hollis 1-4; Lamar Richardson 1-5; Andrew Lawrence 1-1; Travis Core 0-1; Brian Cole 0-1). Fouled out--Columbus State-None, North Georgia-None. Rebounds--Columbus State 35 (Shane Heyward 8), North Georgia 37 (Michael Varrichione 11). Assists--Columbus State 15 (BJ Battle 4), North Georgia 18 (Chris Tanzy 8). Total fouls--Columbus State 14, North Georgia 16. Technical fouls--Columbus State-None, North Georgia-None. A-1811

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service