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The curse for Georgetown College men's basketball team at Shawnee State continued Thursday night as the Bears outlasted the Tigers, 87-85 in overtime. GC has yet to win in Portsmouth, Ohio since SSU joined the league.
The game see-sawed back and forth to the bitter end when a chess match between the coaches ensued with 3.8 seconds remaining. Georgetown trailed by two with the length of the court to go. GC coach Chris Briggs set his play and the teams gathered on the court. As the official handed Vic Moses the ball, Briggs called another timeout once seeing Shawnee's set.
When the teams collected back on the court, SSU's coach Jeff Hamilton called a time to readjust his defense. Briggs called one final timeout before the play and then finally action resumed. Garel Craig drove the length of the court and positioned himself in the middle of the lane. His jumper hit the back of the iron, popped straight up and fell just beyond the front of the rim to be no good as time expired.
The No. 24 Bears (12-7, 8-3 Mid-South Conference) put some distance between themselves and the Tigers (14-5, 6-5) in the league standings. However, it is still a massive bottleneck from the top of the conference through sixth place. Half to two games separate those six teams, with the Tigers tied in fifth with Campbellsville University.
"Night in and night out anyone in this league can win," Briggs said. "It's one of the best in the nation. We have four teams ranked and we are receiving votes.
"We have to take care of our business. We have nine conference games left, with the majority of them being home games."
Allan Thomas led the charge with 18 points, while Monty Wilson and Deondre McWhorter each chipped in with 16. Garel Craig had 13 and Moses 11.
After trailing 36-29 at the break, GC got hot and appeared ready to break loose several times in the final 20 minutes. However, SSU found ways through playmakers such as Jeremy Bennington and Ian Nixson to stay within scratching distance. Bennington even heated up in the extra session, splashing back-to-back threes that had Briggs calling timeout.
"I wanted to settle us down," Briggs said. "We were making good choices offensively, but we were letting them control by losing Bennington in the shuffle."
Nixson hit the dagger three as GC was holding a two-point edge late in the overtime period. Falling away with the shot clock winding down, he scored the deep ball for three of his 15 points.
Georgetown returns to action 4 pm Saturday at University of Rio Grande (7-13, 3-8). Follow an audio broadcast at www.ihigh.com/georgetowncollege and twitter updates through GCAthletics.