Seeing their first action after nearly a month off, the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats gave up 52 first-half points and lost a 91-71 decision to The Crown College in Powell, Tenn. on Friday night.
The Royal Crusaders jumped out to a 21-12 lead with 11:40 to go in the first half, forcing the Bobcats to go to a full-court press. The strategy worked as Georgia Northwestern went on a 12-4 run over the next 3:40 to trim the deficit to one. However, the Bobcats were never able to take the lead.
They trailed 35-32 with five minutes left before intermission when the wheels began to fall off for the visitors. GNTC made just 1-of-6 shots down the stretch and turned the ball over seven times as Crown closed out the half on a 17-3 run to take a 52-35 lead into the locker room.
Georgia Northwestern would play better in the second half, especially on offense. However, the deficit was too great to make up as the Bobcats never got any closer than 19 points the rest of the way.
The Royal Crusaders controlled the paint all night, outscoring the Bobcats on the inside, 54-14, while grabbing 20 offensive rebounds.
Cole McKeehan had a big game for the Bobcats in the loss. The McMinn County (Tenn.) product connected on five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 23 points. Jeremy Wilson also had five 3-pointers as he finished with 20 points, while J.T. Langford finished with a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Eight points from Mark Chester and four from Jarret Gill rounded out the scoring. Kannen Derryberry had four steals on the night and Hayden Murphy collected two steals.
Georgia Northwestern (2-9) will join the Lady Bobcats for a home doubleheader on Monday at the Rossville Athletic Center. Both teams will take on the junior varsity squads from Bryan College, starting with the women's game at 6 p.m.