Cougar Men 5-1 Heading Into Conference Opener

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- For the second night in a row, Columbus State fought back from a halftime deficit Saturday to earn a hard-fought win in the All- Georgia Shootout at West Georgia.

This time, Morehouse held a halftime lead on the Cougars before a strong second-half effort propelled CSU to a 82-73 win.

The two squads played a tight game from the outset, trading the lead nine times in the first half. The biggest lead by either team was five points -- that held on three occasions by the Maroon Tigers. CSU last led at the 3:44 mark at 29-28. From there, Morehouse out-scored the Cougars 8-4 to take a 36-33 lead into the break. Corris Portis helped keep the Cougars close with nine points, all on three-pointers, in the half.

The second half started much the same way as the first. CSU tied the game at the 19:16 mark on a pair of free throws by Ransom Antoine and then took the lead on a Justin Wilson jumper 18 seconds later. After Morehouse re-took the lead at 43-40, Wilson tied it with a three- pointer at the 17:47 mark. The lead would switch hands again before CSU took its biggest lead at 52-47 with 13:57 to play on a Wilson layup.

The Maroon Tigers fought back to re-take the lead again on a pair of Brandon Childs free-throws with 9:02 left to make it 57-56. That would prove to be the last time Morehouse would lead. Leading 62-60 with 7:10 left, the Cougars went on an 11-2 run to effectively put the game away. Jeff Tarver and Corris Portis sandwiched three-point buckets around a pair of Wilson free-throws to aid in the run. The Portis trey made it 73-62 with 4:36 left. Morehouse would get as close as six points with 1:04 to play, but a Tarver layup and a free-throw by Ron Robinson closed the scoring for the Cougars.

Wilson had a strong game for the second straight night, scoring 20 points to go with seven rebounds. Ransom Antoine scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Portis finished with 15 points on 4-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Jeff Tarver came off the bench to post a strong double-double with 11 points and 11 boards. The Cougars shot 50 percent in the second half and 46 percent for the game.

Morehouse (1-2) placed four players in double digits, led by 17 points from Brandon Childs. Josiah Young had a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards. The much taller Maroon Tigers held only a 40-34 rebounding advantage but had 21 offensive boards.

CSU (5-1) will now turn its attention to Wednesday's Peach Belt Conference opener at Georgia College & State University. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Centennial Center in Milledgeville.