Barons follow split on road with GACC home stand

MOUNT VERNON -- The Brewton-Parker College men's basketball team began Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference with a split of two road games thanks to a pair of efforts that nearly gave the Barons two wins to open conference play.
The Barons opened their GACC slate last Thursday with an 86-77 win over Shorter College in Rome for their second win of the young semester after they had trailed at halftime.
On Saturday in Marietta, the Barons found themselves in their fifth overtime game of the season and extended the No. 24 ranked (NAIA Division I) Southern Polytechnic State University Runnin' Hornets to two extra sessions before falling 92-85 and to 8-8 overall.
Against Shorter, sophomore post Bryan "Slim" Jett powered Brewton-Parker to the win with his game-high 22 points 17 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Jett was perfect on 10 free-throw shots and 6-for-12 from the floor.
"He had the best night I've seen him have," Barons coach Steve Barker said of Jett. "I don't think I've ever had a player with 17 rebounds, and then he gets seven blocks too."
The Barons overcame a 39-37 halftime deficit to score the win behind 47 percent shooting while holding Shorter to 42 percent shooting and outrebounding the host Hawks 49-42.
"We were down by as much as nine with seven or eight minutes left, and we showed a little bit of character in how we handled the situation," Barker said. "That helps us that we beat them on the road. They are better than they were last year."
Senior guard Derrick Hairston was 6-for-11 from the field in scoring 15 points, while junior guard Jarvis Smith ripped four 3-pointers for 12 points and senior guard Gabe Bubon added 12 points.
Kendarius Wright led Shorter (6-6 overall, 0-2 GACC after the weekend) with 21 points.
On Saturday, Brewton-Parker led 43-37 at halftime and the teams were knotted at 74-all heading into overtime. Each squad scored seven in the first overtime before Southern Poly outscored the Barons 11-4 in the second OT period.
"We were up by 14 with nine minutes to go and just couldn't maintain it for 40 minutes," Barker said. "They had two big 3s, one at the end of regulation and one at the end of the first overtime. Two guys stepped up and made big-time plays."
Junior guard Ben McGlynn led the Barons' four double-digits scorers with 17 points, while junior post Hector Solano followed with 16 points.
Sophomore guard Toms Lokmanis had his first double-double as a Baron with 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Bubon added 12 points.
Prentiss Gates and Dwight Lauder led SPSU (11-4, 2-0) with 25 points apiece, with Gates hitting 11 of 17 field goals.
"It was a great ball game, had a conference tournament flavor," Barker said. "To take them to double overtime shows the kind of character we have."
The Barons entered the week with a three-game home stand, which began Monday with a visit from Southern Wesleyan University (S.C.). The Warriors (2-9, 0-1) were coming off their second win of the year, a non-conference victory Saturday over in-state foe North Greenville College.
The GACC's two representatives from Montgomery, Ala., then pay their first visits to the Student Activities Center, with both teams off since winning over the weekend.
The Senators from Auburn University at Montgomery (6-4, 2-0) visit Brewton-Parker on Thursday at 8 p.m., and the No. 13 ranked Faulkner University (10-3, 2-0 entering the week) comes to Brewton-Parker for a 2 p.m. game Saturday.
"This week is huge," Barker said. "We have to take care of our home court and win these three this week. We need to stay consistent for the next two to three weeks."
The Barons then will travel north for two conference games next week, visiting Reinhardt College in Waleska on Jan. 23 and North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega on Jan. 25.