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At times it seems easy for the NAIA defending national men's basketball teams. The No. 1 Tigers were dropping triple-digits in the first four games, but third-year coach Chris Briggs knew the Central Bank Jim Reid Classic would bring tough competition. After needing a furious rally against Olivet Nazarene on Friday, it was a showdown for an 18th title Sunday against Life University.
Georgetown (6-0) trailed by as many as eight in the first half of a game with eight ties. However, the Tigers weathered the storm of the Running Eagles for the 110-103 win.
"The Jim Reid Classic is always some of the toughest games all year outside of conference play," said GC coach Chris Briggs. "These games were good for us in preparing for our league which starts Thursday.
"Life is a speedy team, and early we had some breakdowns defensively. But, when our guys focused in, they were tough enough to pull out the win."
Deondre McWhorter's double-double, 28 points and 10 rebounds, led the charge. He was two-shy of his career high set against Bluefield College Nov. 15, 2012.
The Tigers held the largest and only double-digit leads in the second half, but the Running Eagles (5-3) did not go quietly. They turned up the defensive intensity and began hitting threes to pull within two following a Philip Jenkins' three. Life called a time out with 2:04 remaining. GC regained composure and breathing room with a 9-0 burst in the next minute of action.
"It means a lot to this team and program to be able to honor Coach Reid with an 18th title," Briggs said. "Coach Reid was extremely loved and respected as both a coach and a man, and we are happy to be able to honor his name and legacy here at Georgetown."
Five other Tigers tallied double-digits. Trenity Burdine had a lot of hustle plays and also chipped in with his career-high 19 points. Monty Wilson had 18. Jaylen Daniel had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Joe Caldwell finished with 12 and Dominique Hagans 11.
Georgetown returns to action 8 pm Thursday hosting Mid-South Conference foe University of the Cumberlands (5-2).