Columbus State University

Columbus State men look to improve defense and stop two-game skid

The Columbus State men's basketball team is having a good season. But there have some troubling signs of late as the Cougars have lost two straight.

The 23rd-ranked Cougars are 12-4 overall and 6-3 in the Peach Belt Conference, tied with Montevallo for third in the Western Division, only a game ahead of fifth-place Clayton State.

The schedule does not get an easier Sunday when they are on the road for a meeting at Western Division-leading Young Harris (10-8, 8-1).

Those troubling signs have been on defense as CSU is next-to-last in the 14-team PBC, giving up 79.9 points per game. For most of the season, having the No. 1 offense in the league (scoring 88.6 per game) has covered up the defensive issues. But the last two games that has not been the case.

"I told the guys that I am so confident when we are on offense," CSU coach Robert Moore said. "But I am a nervous wreck when we are on defense."

With the game at Young Harris postponed by a day due to the wintry weather in north Georgia, the Cougars had an extra practice this week on Friday.

"We emphasized defense the last couple of days," Moore said. "We have had two days of nothing but defense. The guys have got to have a sense of urgency on that end. We can't just let guys drive down the lane, and they are aware of that.

"We are not doing a good job of focusing when we are on that end."

Meanwhile, Young Harris has turned around a season that started disastrously. Young Harris started 2-7, but the Mountain Lions have won 8 of 9 since conference play started.

Young Harris is led by C.J. Wilson, who is second in the PBC in scoring at 23.9 points per game.

The men's game is set to start at 4 p.m. with the women playing first at 2 p.m.

The 25th-ranked Lady Cougars snapped a two-game losing streak of their own with a win over Lander on Tuesday. Coach Jonathan Norton returned after missing a game at Augusta and part of a game against North Georgia after he collapsed on the sideline at North Georgia.

The Lady Cougars are 13-3 overall and 7-2 in the PBC, two games behind Clayton State. Young Harris is 7-9 and 2-7, having lost seven straight.

Kevin Price, 706-320-4493, Follow Kevin on Twitter@lesports