SAVANNAH, Ga. - Young Harris College held off a late second-half charge by the Armstrong State University men's basketball team to pick up a 98-94 Peach Belt Conference victory on Wednesday evening at Alumni Arena.
The Mountain Lions improved to 9-3 overall and 3-0 in the PBC with the win, while Armstrong State fell to 6-6 overall and 1-2 in the league. The Pirates return to action on Friday, hosting North Georgia in a 3:30 p.m. Peach Belt Conference contest at Alumni Arena.
Young Harris made nine of its first 11 shots from the field in building an early 30-17 lead midway through the first half, but the Pirates were able to battle back and cut the deficit to three, 48-45, at the break. Back to back baskets by junior Jamison Jeffers gave the Pirates their first lead of the game, 51-50, a minute and a half into the second half.
The Mountain Lions quickly regained the lead and held a nine-point lead, 90-81, with just under two minutes remaining. A free throw by junior Denzel Council, then back-to-back turnovers forced by the Pirates resulted in a three-pointer and a layup by freshman Corey Tillery that cut the lead to three, 90-73, with 46 seconds left.
The Pirates were able to cut the lead to two, 95-93, with 10 seconds left. Jeffers was fouled right as he crossed halfcourt and made one of two free throws, and Young Harris broke full-court pressure with 4.6 seconds left, getting a dunk at the buzzer to clinch the contest.
Tillery finished the night with 23 points to lead five Pirates in double figures. Junior KJ James added 19 points, while Jeffers finished with 16 points and eight assists. Council added a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds while Denzel Collins chipped in 11 points off the bench.
Young Harris placed six players in double figures, led by C.J. Wilson's 26 points. Ben Waterhouse made 5-of-10 threes en route to 18 points, while Corey Nelson added 17 points. Marcellus Roberts notched a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Marques McKoy added 12 points off the bench. Bjorn Walker also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Each team shot better than 55 percent from the floor on the evening - Young Harris hit 39-of-66 shots for 59.1 percent, while the Pirates hit 40-of-72 shots for 55.6 percent. The Mountain Lions hit 5-of-15 threes (33.3 percent) while the Pirates hit 5-of-16 threes (31.3 percent). Young Harris shot 62.5 percent from the free throw line (15-of-24) while the Pirates shot just 52.9 percent (9-of-17).