Cuthbert, Ga – The No. 2 Titans (23-7) defeated No. 6 East Georgia State College, 61-59, Friday night to advance to the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA) Division I Men's Basketball Championship for the second-consecutive year.
Marred by turnovers and missed baskets in the paint, the Titans found themselves in an 11-point deficit during the first half. Struggling to contain the outside shooting of their opponents, the Titans allowed East Georgia State to shoot 13-34 from the field and 6-14 from beyond the three-point arc.
Making the necessary adjustments at halftime, the Titans were able to stage a 9-2 run to start the second half. At the 13:29 mark, sophomore Juvante Hayes knocked down a clutch three-point basket to even the score at 41.
Forcing East Georgia State to commit fouls, the Titans were able to earn some much-needed trips to the free throw line where they would capitalize on the opportunities and take an eventual 8-point lead.
With costly offensive miscues down the stretch, the Titans' lead diminished to zero as East Georgia State was able to tie the game at 59 with :30.5 remaining in the game.
In their final possession of the game, Titans sophomore guard DeJon Waters Jr. was able to drive to the basket and lay in the game-winning shot with :03.8 left on the clock.
As the sole double-digit scorer for the Titans, Anyeuri Castillo recorded a game-high 21 points to go along with eight rebounds and six blocked shots.
With the win, the Titans advance to the GCAA Championship game on Saturday, March 9 and will face No. 5 Georgia Highlands College. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at Andrew College in Cuthbert. The game will be streamed live on the GCAA Sports Network at www.jockjive.come/gcaasports.