Peach Belt Conference tournament begins at CSU Thursday

Lady Cougars are 9-2 at home this season

kprice@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 2, 2014 

Mike Haskey/mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.comColumbus State's DeAngelo Kirkland shoots while being guarded by Armstrong Atlantic's Montel Baines during a game in January.

MIKE HASKEY

Columbus State is the host for the Peach Belt Conference tournament for the third straight year.

The women's tournament tips off Thursday with four quarterfinal games. The men's quarterfinals are on Friday.

The semifinals for both are on Saturday with the championship games on Sunday.

Tickets prices are $8 for adults ($3 children under 12 and senior citizens) for Thursday and Friday. Prices go up to $10 and $5 for Saturday and Sunday.

A tournament pass, which is good for all four days, is $25.

Women

The Lady Cougars (18-7) are 9-2 at the Lumpkin Center this season, including a 79-74 win over Flagler.

CSU, which is the only team to make all 22 PBC tournaments, enters the tournament having lost two straight to end the season -- to North Georgia and Clayton State, the top two seeds in the West.

That mini-losing streak comes on the heels of a stretch in which the Lady Cougars won 9-of-10.

Flagler is making just its second PBC tourney appearance. The Saints reached the semifinals last season. This year's team has won three straight.

Clayton State won its fourth straight PBC regular-season title. The Lakers won last year's PBC tournament.

Lander had to beat Francis Marion on Saturday to earn the final berth from the East.

North Georgia, the only PBC team ranked in the national poll (No. 22) opens against USC Aiken.

North Georgia reached the title game last year. USC Aiken won in 2012.

The top seed from the East, Armstrong Atlantic, is the hottest team in the league. The Lady Pirates have won 10 straight. They play Georgia College, which is returning to the tourney after missing out the past two years.

The Lady Bobcats actually finished fifth in the West, but they advanced to the tournament because Young Harris was not eligible.

Men

CSU was the fortunate fifth-place finisher on the men's side of the West.

The Cougars made the tournament final in 2012 but missed the event last season.

They face regular-season champion USC Aiken in the first round. The Pacers, which beat CSU 82-70 in January, are ranked No. 8 in the latest national poll.

Montevallo is the No. 1 seed from the West and will open Friday's play against Francis Marion.

Georgia Regents-Augusta, which opens against North Georgia, has won two tourney titles in the past five years.

Georgia Southwestern plays Lander in the other men's quarterfinal.

PEACH BELT CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT

All games at Lumpkin Center

WOMEN

Thursday

1 p.m. -- Armstrong Atlantic (No. 1 East) vs. Georgia College (No. 4 West)

3 p.m. -- North Georgia (No. 2 West) vs. USC Aiken (No. 3 East)

5 p.m. -- Columbus State (No. 3 West) vs. Flagler (No. 2 East)

7 p.m. -- Clayton State (No. 1 West) vs. Lander (No. 4 East)

Saturday

2 p.m. -- Armstrong Atlantic/Georgia College vs. North Georgia/USC Aiken

4 p.m. -- Columbus State/Flagler vs. Clayton State/Lander

Sunday

2 p.m. -- championship game

MEN

Friday

1 p.m. -- Montevallo (No. 1 West) vs. Francis Marion (No. 4 East)

3 p.m. -- North Georgia (No. 3 West) vs. GRU-Augusta (No. 2 East)

5 p.m. -- Georgia Southwestern (No. 2 West) vs. Lander (No. 3 East)

7 p.m. -- Columbus State (No. 4 West) vs. USC Aiken (No. 1 East)

Saturday

6 p.m. -- Montevallo/Francis Marion vs. North Georgia/GRU-Augusta

8 p.m. -- Columbus State/USC Aiken vs. Georgia Southwestern/Lander

Sunday

4 p.m. -- championship game

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