The No. 19 South Georgia State College Hawks scored the first nine points of overtime Thursday night and held on to defeat the No. 21 Georgia Highlands Chargers 116-106 in a battle of NJCAA Top 25 teams.
The win avenges SGSC’s (12-1, 6-1) 96-85 loss to the Chargers Tuesday night in Rome, Ga.
The Hawks led 91-85 with 2:28 remaining in regulation and watched the Chargers defensive pressure cut the lead to one (91-90) in a span of 27 seconds. Daniel Parrish’s layup with 55 seconds to go gave SGSC a 93-90 lead. On the next possession, the Chargers TJ Horton hit a three-pointer with 39.1 seconds left to tie the game.
The Chargers forced another turnover with 31 seconds left on the clock. GHC’s Jarrel Rosser’s putback gave the Chargers a 95-93 lead with 3.9 seconds left in regulation.
Following a timeout, SGSC’s AJ Spencer threw the inbounds pass the length of the court to Jalen King who was fouled on his shot attempt, sending the Hawks to the free throw line with 2.8 seconds to go with a chance to tie the game. King’s foul forced an injury substitute to shoot the free throws, and Spencer hit both to send the game into overtime.
The Hawks had six players to score in double figures, led by Nik Jiles with 30 points and eight assists. King had 18 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, while Jordan Coffee finished with 16 points and three assists. Parrish had 15 points, and Bryce Brown finished with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists. Jayce Moore rounded out the top scorers with 13 points and five rebounds.
The Hawks will return to action next Thursday night, March 4 in Waycross against South Georgia Tech. Tip for the game is set for 7 p.m.
SGSC’s regular season schedule was shortened to 22 games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. General admission to all regular season home games is five dollars with children five and under admitted free. Limited tickets will be sold for each home game in Douglas and Waycross to accommodate social distancing, and face coverings are required at each site. No game or season passes are available for the 2021 season.