AUGUSTA, Ga. – Young Harris College made an impact in its first-ever Peach Belt Conference Men's Basketball Tournament appearance.
Young Harris, which has been ineligible to compete in the tournament in its first two years in the conference as the Mountain Lions completed their Division II membership process, defeated Georgia Regents University Augusta 83-76 Saturday (Feb. 28) evening at Christenberry Fieldhouse in the quarterfinals of the PBC Tournament.
"It was a terrific win for us in our first postseason game (in the NCAA era)," said Young Harris head coach Pete Herrmann. "They were ready to play from the opening tip. Our big three – Kevin, C.J. and Isaiah – played well. It was a good win on the road in the tournament."
Young Harris, which had to win seven of its final eight regular season games just to make the tournament as the No. 4 seed from the West Division, improved to 13-13 and will now face the winner of Sunday's (March 1) quarterfinal contest between Columbus State University and Lander University in a semifinal game March 8.
GRU Augusta saw its 11-game winning streak – which started with a 67-65 win over Young Harris – as they fell to 23-6 and now must wait to see if they will earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Division II Tournament in March.
Young Harris shot a season-best 51.0 percent (26-of-51) from the floor, including a sizzling 60.0 percent (18-of-30) in the opening 20 minutes as the Mountain Lions, who never trailed in the game, built up a 44-32 lead at the half.
The Jaguars fought back and tied at 62 on a Henry McCarthy layup with 7:27 to play. The Mountain Lions retook the lead at 68-66 on a C.J. Wilson layup with 3:02 remaining. That started a run of eight unanswered points as YHC took a 74-66 lead on two Kevin Altidor free throws with 79 seconds to play.
Young Harris held off the Jaguars down the stretch as the Mountain Lions hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final 47 seconds of the game.
Wilson led Young Harris with 27 points while Altidor and Isaiah Johnson each tossed in 21. Johnson had seven assists while Wilson added five. Herdie Lawrence added 10 points while Altidor added seven rebounds.
Devonte Thomas led GRU Augusta with 23 points while Keshun Sherrill (18), McCarthy (14) and Devon Wright-Nelson (11) finished in double figures. McCarthy grabbed 10 rebounds as the Jaguars held a 40-27 advantage on the glass.