Win Moves CSU Men to 8-1 Record, First Place in Conference

Columbus State got 28 points from sophomore guard Corris Portis here Wednesday night to lead the Cougars to a thrilling 86-81 win over Georgia College & State University.

With the win, the Cougars move into first place in the Peach Belt Conference standings with an 8-1 mark and own the league's longest win streak at eight games.

Portis came out on fire for CSU, hitting three three-pointers in less than two minutes as the Cougars jumped out to an 11-0 lead. But just as quickly as CSU took control, the Bobcats snatched it away, using a 13-3 run to cut the lead to 14-13 with 14:45 left. Shejdie Childs nailed a trey to get the Bobcats within one point. GC&SU would forge a tie just less than three minutes later, capping a 5-0 run to make it 20-all with 11:48 left.

CSU rattled off 13 straight to answer, however, and took a 33-20 lead with 8:07 left in the period. GC&SU would get as close as six points before CSU used another run to build its biggest lead at 49-35 with 1:58 left. Quay Holloway capped a 13-5 run with a jumper to provide the 14-point margin. GC&SU would grab a little bit of momentum back before the half, using a 7-0 run to cut the halftime margin to 49-42. Andre Smith's three-pointer with 31 seconds left was the big shot of the run for the Bobcats.

CSU maintained a cushion for the first eight minutes of the second half before the Bobcats made a run to get themselves back into the game. Trailing 61-52 with 12:52 left, the visitors out-scored the Cougars 16-6 over the next four minutes and took their first lead of the night on a pair of Bryan Harrison free-throws with 8:56 left to make it 68-67. The two teams traded the lead twice with a pair of ties mixed in over the next three minutes before a Ransom Antoine jumper put the Cougars ahead for good at 75-73 with 4:05 left. The Bobcats would get as close as three points on three occasions - the last coming after a Ronnie Dennis layup with 12 seconds left, but a pair of Portis free-throws with eight seconds left sealed the win for the Cougars and closed the scoring.

Portis went 8-12 from the field on the night which included hitting four of seven three-point shots, and was a perfect 8-8 at the free- throw line. Antoine added 19 points on 8-13 shooting, while Ron Robinson had a second-straight solid game with 16 points and nine rebounds from his point guard spot. Nathan Patterson led the Cougars in rebounding with 11 as CSU held a 48-36 advantage on the boards. The Cougars shot just 39 percent in the second half, making only nine field goals, but held the Bobcats to 37 percent and just 1-10 from three-point range.

Bryan Harrison led GC&SU (11-5, 8-20) with 22 points, going 12-13 at the free-throw line. Jeremy Mayweather added 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Aaron Clark chipped in 14 and Ronnie Dennis 11. The Bobcats shot just 39 percent for the game and only 17 percent from three-point range (4-24).

CSU faces another tough battle on Saturday in its fourth game in eight days, facing Armstrong Atlantic State on the road at 4 p.m. Meanwhile GC&SU will host Clayton State in a 7:30 p.m. contest in Milledgeville.