Wins have been tough to come by for the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats this season and routs have been non-existent with their three victories coming by just a combined 22 points.
But in their next-to-last home game of the season Monday night at the Rossville Athletic Center, the Bobcats finally got to have a little fun.
A huge run at the tail end of the first half, combined with another huge run to start the second half, resulted in smiles all around for the Navy-and-Silver as they coasted to an 88-65 victory over the visiting Royal Crusaders from The Crown College.
Early on, though, it looked like the game would be anything but easy.
Crown held a narrow 12-11 lead in what was shaping up to be a back-and-forth affair.
But suddenly, the Bobcats simply couldn't hang on the ball.
Turnovers on four consecutive maddening possessions had Georgia Northwestern looking for answers, while Crown took advantage with seven unanswered points to grab a 19-11 advantage at the 11:30 mark.
Bobcats head coach David Stephenson would finally call a time-out to settle his team down and settle down they did.
The Bobcats would commit just two turnovers the rest of the half and, as the turnovers went down, the team's offense and defense picked up exponentially.
Spurred on by 13 first-half points from J.T. Langford and eight each from Tradyal Autry and Tyler Phillips, the Bobcats finished the first half shooting 48 percent from the field and a perfect 12-of-12 at the free throw line. They closed out the first half on a 30-7 run to go up 41-26 at the break.
The Royal Crusaders would score the first four points coming out of the locker room in an attempt to get back in the game. However, the Bobcats quickly let it be known that their would be no comeback as they reeled off a 36-14 spurt to take their biggest lead, 77-44, and put the game away.
Georgia Northwestern (4-17) shot 47 percent in the second half and had one of its best nights of the season at the charity stripe. Langford went 12-of-14 to help the Bobcats finish 22-of-25 (88 percent) at the line.
Langford had a new season-high with 24 points, giving him four games of 20 or more points in his last seven. Tyler Phillips had 19 points, including a perfect 5-of-5 behind the 3-point arc.
Phillips, who came into the game ranked fourth in Division II of the USCAA in 3-point percentage, is now 32-of-64 (50.0 percent) this year and is now temporarily tied for second nationally.
Autry had another double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Davantae Kimble also added 11 points, while Cole McKeehan picked up 10 points.
John Boutchia led all scorers with 26 points for Crown, while Amir Duffer dropped in 19 points.
The Lady Bobcats will head to northeast Georgia to take on Toccoa Falls College on Tuesday and both teams will be on the road Friday night in Gallatin, Tn. against Welch College.
GEORGIA NORTHWESTERN MEN 88, THE CROWN COLLEGE 65
The Crown College (NA)
Thatcher 6, Taylor, Duffer 19, Boutchia 26, Mooney 4, Wilkerson 2, Sullivan 4, Kraus, Mottor 4
Georgia Northwestern (4-17)
Smith 2, Langford 24, Parrish 4, Autry 11, Phillips 19, McKeehan 10, Kimble 11, Wideman 7
Halftime: Georgia Northwestern 41-26