GC men’s basketball falls to Columbus State

Redshirt-freshman Brendan Rigsbee looks to pass versus Columbus State on Saturday Jan. 28

Marissa Marcolina

Redshirt-freshman Brendan Rigsbee looks to pass versus Columbus State on Saturday Jan. 28

Bruce Smith, Staff Writer

Coming off a tough loss a few days ago, the GC men’s basketball team took on 6-13 Columbus State at home on Saturday, Jan. 28.

The Bobcats came out strong in the first half, leading the Cougars 32-29 going into halftime.

Despite the halftime lead, the Bobcats would eventually fall to the Cougars 69-64.

The Bobcats, again, were without their leading scorer, Zyair Greene. This now marks two straight games that the sophomore guard has missed due to medical issues.

The Bobcats found success at the three-point line, shooting 31.3 percent. Junior guard Brandon Thomas shot the ball well from behind the arc, going 3-5 on the day. His shooting helped spark the second half push chipping away at the Cougars lead.

“My shot felt really good today,” Thomas said. “I know every single game going forward is very important, so I hope to keep shooting the ball as well as I did today.”

The second half started with sophomore guard Brendan Rigsbee hitting a mid-range jumper, giving the Bobcats a five-point lead.

After Rigsbee’s shot, the Bobcats dug themselves into their biggest hole of the game, going down 50-36.

To get out of their scoring drought, the Bobcats looked to freshman guard Ian Davis, who scored eight of his points in the second half.

“I wish I was more aggressive on offense throughout the entire game,” Davis said. “I found a lot of success in the second half driving the ball and getting to the rim, and if I had done so in the first half, I might have been able to change the outcome.”

The Bobcats struggled from the free throw line, shooting 50 percent for the second straight game.

Despite the poor shooting performance at the free throw line, the Bobcats struggled the most with turning the ball over. The team turned the ball over a shocking 17 times.

“I felt like our effort was great, especially with us playing shorthanded,” said head coach Ryan Aquino. “When it comes to turnovers and free throws, I know our guys are trying and giving it their best, but I feel like it is a mental thing right now, and it is just a little bit of adversity that our guys need to — and will get through.”

The spotlight of the team was Brendan Rigsbee scoring 17 points. The sophomore shot 7-13 from the field and went 2-3 from the three-point line.

The Bobcats have a tough stretch of games to finish off the season before tournament play starts in March, where they will have to bring everything together in order to capitalize on the year.

“It is about us reaching a point we have not reached yet,” Aquino said. “The team has shown it at some points during the year but have not put it all together.”

On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Bobcats traveled east to take on No. 12 Augusta. The Bobcats fell short 86-61 and are currently 7-14 overall. They take on conference foe USC Aiken at home Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m.