Cougars beat Lander with hot-shooting second half

Cougars beat Lander with hot-shooting second half

GREENWOOD – Columbus State University opened the second half by making 13 of its first 14 shots from the floor, outscoring Lander 30-8 during that run on its way to an 80-66 victory over the Bearcats in Peach Belt Conference action Saturday afternoon at Horne Arena.

Lander fell to 5-10 overall, 2-4 in the PBC.

Columbus State, which outscored the Bearcats 49-22 over the first 17 minutes of the second half after trailing by six at halftime, improved to 11-3, 4-3.

Lander's JR Washington led all scorers with 17 points while pacing the team with seven rebounds. The senior guard has scored in double figures in each of his last 51 games.

Jarryd Coleman scored all 12 of his points in the first half, making four of five from 3-point range for the Bearcats. Jordan Dingle added eight points while Chris Tate and Telvin Gabriel contributed six rebounds apiece.

Arben Camaj led the Cougars with 16 points on seven of 10 shooting from the floor while adding four blocked shots. Also among the six double-figure scorers for CSU were Marcus Dixon, who had a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Jacori Payne added 12 points while leading Columbus State with seven assists, Darius Joell also scored 12 points, Ryan Burnett added 11 points, and Michael Graham scored 10 points on five of five shooting from the floor.

The Cougars made 21 of 36 shots from the floor in the second half (66 percent) and were over 80 percent late. The Bearcats were seven for 24 after halftime (39 percent).

Lander's Rahu Purdie nailed a 3 from the top of the key, tying the game at 11-all with 12:34 left in the opening half. He hit another 3 from the left corner, pulling the Bearcats within 15-14 with 9:53 to go.

Coleman's 3 tied the game at 17-all just inside the seven-minute mark and the Bearcats took their first lead of the game on Dingle's mid-range jumper, making it 19-17 with 6:10 left.

Trailing 25-24 at the three-minute mark, Lander closed the first half with an 11-4 run on the strength of the 3-pointer. Coleman hit a long 3 with a hand in his face, Washington banked in a 3, Washington rebounded Purdie's missed trey attempt and converted a layup, and Coleman swished another 3 from the right corner for a 35-29 lead at the break.

Columbus State opened the second half with seven unanswered points, taking a 36-35 lead with 17:36 left on Burnett's 3 from the left wing.

Payne's steal and driving layup increased the Cougar advantage to 50-41 with 13:05 to go. Payne made three of three free throws, upping Columbus State's lead into double figures at 53-41 with 11:40 left.

Joell hit consecutive 3s as the Cougars extended their lead to 59-43 with 10:21 to go, giving Columbus State 13 made shots out of 14 attempts in the second half.

Jamal McKee's jumper upped the Cougar lead to 68-46 with 6:43 left.

Washington capped a 9-2 Lander run with a three-point play, pulling the Bearcats within 70-55 at the five-minute mark.

But Columbus State increased its lead back to more than 20 points on Burnett's layup, making it 76-55 with 3:19 to go.