The Columbus State University men’s basketball team tallied its third straight home victory on Wednesday night with a 73-66 win over Flagler. The Peach Belt Conference game was played in the Lumpkin Center.
Michael Graham led the Cougars behind a career-high 18 points. The sophomore went 8-for-9 from the field and added three blocked shots. Rudy Winters and Darius Joell each scored 16 on the night and Marcus Dixon added a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.
“I didn’t like the way we started tonight, but I thought we woke up and played pretty well as the game went on,” head coach Robert Moore said. “We just have to stay focused on bringing the intensity each time we step on the court.”
Columbus State (6-9, 6-6 PBC) put itself in an early hole and trailed by as much as seven in the opening minutes of the game. The Cougars battled back though to tie the game at 17 apiece and then used an 11-0 run to take a 28-21 lead.
Flagler (7-9, 4-8) surged back in front with nine unanswered points and the Saints took a 34-33 advantage into halftime with a bucket at the buzzer.
The lead exchanged hands five times over the first seven minutes of the second half before the Cougars took over.
Four straight points from Graham broke a 46-all tie and began a stretch of 10 unanswered points for the Cougars. Winters scored the next four and Graham capped off the run with CSU up 56-46 at the midpoint of the second half.
The Saints battled back to within six, but the Cougars had the answer each time and kept Flagler at a distance on their way to victory.
CSU finished the night at 51.9 percent (28-for-54) overall after knocking down 16-of-24 shots in the second half.
Columbus State will travel to Morrow, Ga. on Saturday for a road contest at Clayton State. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.