Jaguars rallies to upset No. 22 Middle Georgia
Third time’s charm. The Georgia Perimeter College Jaguars beat one nationally ranked team in three tries in the past week.
Shane Henry led Georgia Perimeter with 18 points and a key alley-oop dunk as the Jaguars edged No. 22 Middle Georgia College 58-57 Wednesday on GPC’s Decatur Campus.
The Jaguars had fallen to No. 18 East Georgia State College Saturday and to No. 9 Chattahoochee Tech a week ago. In fact, four of their five losses in the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association have been to those two top-20 teams.
The victory improves GPC to 5-5 in the conference and keeps them in the hunt for home-court advantage in the first round of the tournament March 5. They are 11-9 overall.
Middle Georgia (13-4, 4-4) jumped to a 41-28 lead at the intermission with 48 percent shooting from the field and a bustling zone defense.
“Their zone really hurt us. We were impatient against it in the first half, and then we settled down in the second half,” GPC head coach Alfred Barney said, “But I really think the defense won the game for us.”
Indeed, the Jaguars’ defense restricted the Warriors to only 16 points in the final 20 minutes, while the offense chipped away at the margin.
GPC produced an 11-point run in the final five minutes and seized the lead 55-54 when Julian Reese lofted a highlight reel alley-oop pass from the right wing to the left of the rim where Henry slam-jammed it in.
Travien Geter scored 12 points for the Jaguars, and Caleb Hayes had 11 and four assists. Reese and Henry grabbed 10 and nine rebounds, respectively, as the Jaguars won the battle of the boards 42-31.
Henry, Geter and Luka Basta held the Warriors’ leading scorer, Shane Heyward, scoreless. Jonathan Thomas led Middle with 13 points, followed by Quincey Bennett with 11.
Saturday the Jaguars travel to Waycross College and next Wednesday they go to Macon to face Central Georgia Technical College. The next home game is with Waycross on Feb. 2. All are conference games.