Georgia Northwestern Bobcats Have To Make Run To Earn Bid

 (Oxford, Georgia) – Less than two weeks away from a shot to make history, the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats wrapped up their regular season on the road in Oxford, Georgia Friday.

Injuries and illness left the Bobcat roster depleted in the season closer as they faced Emory-Oxford, the NJCAA Region XVII’s pre-season number one. The home team opened fire from three-point range and never let off the trigger shooting a jaw-dropping 73-percent (11-of-14) from beyond the arc in a 99-45 loss for the Cats.

Reserve center Andre Towns (Dalton) was out for the contest with a stomach virus. Starting center Bud Todd (Trion) severely sprained his ankle in the second half.

The Bobcats were noticeably impacted on the scoreboard putting up 18 fewer points than their season-average of 63 points each outing. “We have a lot of healing to do and a lot of mental preparation before the region,” said Georgia Northwestern Men’s Head Basketball Coach David Stephenson. “We are down to an eight-man roster for this thing. We have no choice but to be at the absolute top of our game. And, be able to do it for forty full minutes.”

Eagles guard Alex Ordu is among the region leaders in scoring with 14 points per game. However, Georgia Northwestern (4-19, 0-8) held the 5-foot-10 Lithonia, Georgia native to just nine points on the night. With the absence of Todd and Towns at the center spot for the Cats, it would be Emory sophomore Evan Dunwoodie who would make up for Ordu’s scoring drought. The 6-foot-5 sophomore would battle down low for a game-high 23 points.

Justin Dempsey (Ruleville, MS) would lead the GNTC road effort with 13 points. The 6-foot-3 freshman swing man for Stephenson has seen his role increase as the season has went on. Long-range specialist sophomore Ben Patton (Dade) would drop in a dozen. Freshman Alex Miller (Gordon Central) would contribute 11 in the regular season finale. Sophomore point guard Matt Woods and Todd would both swat three shots each.

What Georgia Northwestern would have to do to earn an automatic bid in the NJCAA Post-Season Tournament is not unprecedented in our area. This year actually marks the ten year anniversary of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School earning a bid into the GHSA Post-Season. In February 2002, the Warrior boy’s squad, entering their region tournament with a below-par 6-19 mark, would make a historic run earning them a spot in the GHSA State Tournament.

Friday, March 2 will serve as a play-in game for Georgia Northwestern at the NJCAA Region XVII Tournament. The tournament win receives a bid to the NJCAA National Tournament and would move on to district play in North Carolina. The Bobcats play-in game opponent is Southern Crescent Tech from Griffin, Georgia. The Tigers beat the Cats at The RAC at home by three in overtime during the regular season. The Cats would fall by four at Southern Crescent late in the season.

“This is a game we can win and that’s how we need to look at it. One game at a time,” said Stephenson. The NJCAA Regional Tournament takes place March 2 – 4 at Emory-Oxford College. For more information on Bobcat Athletics at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, contact the Office of Sports Information at 706.764.3813 or e-mail to dfoley@gntc.edu.

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Men’s Box Score
Georgia Northwestern (51) – Alex Miller 11, Pratt, Woods 2, Ben Patton 12, Bud Todd 12, Towns DNP, Hill, Jr. 5, Dempsey 13.

Emory-Oxford (99) – Ordu 9, Evan Dunwoodie 23, Lee 9, Stephen Simmons 11, Zachary Lynn 15, Bassell 4, Carlson 2, Kevin Tolbert 10, Samuel Kim 10, Woodburn 7.

Halftime: 45-27, Emory-Oxford.