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Cats Tip-Off With West Georgia Tech Saturday at 2 p.m.

 

(Oxford, Georgia) – Going into Friday night, Georgia Northwestern knew to be alive after this weekend that they had to do something three times in less than 38 hours that they hadn’t been able to do all season; win a NJCAA Region XVII game.

One game down, two more to go.

Bobcat freshman forward Alex Miller (Gordon Central) led all scorers with 23 as Georgia Northwestern (8-19, 1-8) upended Southern Crescent Tech in the quarterfinals of the NJCAA Region XVII post-season tournament, 58-57. Miller had 13 of his points already in his pocket going into the intermission where the Cats lead by seven, 31-24.

A pair of Southern Crescent jabs from close range in the final ten seconds missed their mark as the Bobcats held on and will move on to a semi-finals date with West Georgia Tech Saturday at 2 p.m. Emory-Oxford College is hosting the tournament this weekend in Oxford, Georgia.

The Tigers shot a dismal 50-percent from the free-throw line (11-of-22) in their season-ending loss. Southern Crescent’s lone all-region honoree Ricky Byrd was held to 11 points in 25 minutes of play. The Bobcats shot 74-percent from the charity stripe (20-of-27) in a much-needed season-saving victory.

Ruleville, Mississippi’s Justin Dempsey dropped in a dozen in the tourney win. The freshman swingman went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line and cleaned the board five times in his 33 minutes on the hardwood.

The region’s top three-point artist, Bobcat sharpshooter Ben Patton (Dade), shot an uncharacteristic 1-for-5 from the three-point line in the win. When asked about the off night, Patton said, “We won. And hey, I got four rebounds. I like it when we play a team game like that.”

The Golden Knights of West Georgia Tech (13-13, 6-2) will serve as a much tougher out than Southern Crescent. “They got us by a dozen both times during the regular season,” said Bobcats Men’s Head Basketball Coach David Stephenson. “Again, as we faced almost every game since Christmas, we held leads in both games against them. It all comes down to numbers. We are down to eight, our ‘elite eight’ as we are calling them. Other programs know a deeper bench is part of the answer to our attack.”

Southern Crescent Tech from Griffin, Georgia dressed out a dozen student-athletes tonight. West Georgia Tech is expected to dress 11 including All-Region first-teamer DeMontray McCormack. The region’s leading scorer drops in 18 points a game and pulls down eight boards a pop. Leading their team is NJCAA Region XVII Coach of the Year, Niki Okolovitch.

“Nick (Niki)  does a great job with that program,” said Stephenson. “Our two colleges really helped lead the way in starting these NJCAA programs years ago. It’s exciting to see us come together on this stage.”

On the line at the NJCAA Region XVII Tournament is a ticket to the nation’s Sweet 16. “We are just going to play one game at a time,” said Stephenson. “We just feel blessed to be a part of it all. The guys played well tonight.”

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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Bobcats Box Score

Georgia Northwestern (58) – Pratt, Towns, Woods 4, Hill, Jr. 2, Justin Dempsey 12, Patton 7, Alex Miller 23, Bud Todd 10.

Southern Crescent (57) – Vladimir Noel 14, Stocks, Jackson, Ricky Byrd 11, Swanson 2, Tarver 3, Hardy 4, David Key 15, Smith 2, Little, Bradley 4, McKibben 2.

Halftime: 31-24, Georgia Northwestern.