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Georgetown Uses Second-Half Surge to Take Down Southern, 78-52

March 17, 2012
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - (Box score) No. 14 Georgetown (Ky.) used a 46-24 second-half scoring burst to eliminate Southern-New Orleans (La.), 78-52, in the final game of the second round in the 2012 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship. The Tigers head to their eighth quarterfinal since 1998 with the late contest on Saturday at 8 p.m. CDT. They battle No. 11 Mountain State (W.Va.), a team that beat Georgetown last year in the semifinals.

"I am proud of our guys," said Georgetown head coach Chris Briggs. "I really thought Garel Craig stepped up. I thought Jordan Demercy made some plays and Josh Lockett played well in place of Maurice Pearson. We are going to work as hard as we can, and I thought for the most part, we did that."

Both clubs struggled to score points in the first half. Georgetown took a 32-28 lead into the half, but shot just 36 percent (10-of-28) from the field. The Tiger advantage came at the free throw line where they scored six more points (11-5) than Southern-New Orleans.

Clyde Moore made a jumper in the lane to hand the Knights a 16-12 lead at the 14:05 mark. But Georgetown went to work behind nine points from Garel Craig and seven from Jordan Demercy. The Tigers crept ahead late in the half and led 32-28 at the break.

A basket by Jared Lewis and Merlin Walker were the only points scored by the Knights in the first nine minutes of the second half. Conversely, a 34-30 Georgetown lead turned into a 57-32 gap that Southern-New Orleans could not threaten.

Southern seemed to run out of gas in the second half after a grueling, come-from-behind overtime win last night over No. 2 seed Robert Morris (Ill.). That game ended after 1 a.m. CDT last night.

Garel finished with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Demercy recorded 13 points and 12 boards. Josh Lockett and Allan Thomas chipped in 10 points each.

Kevin Dukes was the lone Southern-New Orleans player in double figures with 10 points. One night after scoring 34 and grabbing 21 rebounds, Clyde Moore struggled offensively with just two points and six rebounds.

Thanks to a 61 percent clip in the second half, Georgetown shot 49 percent overall. Southern-New Orleans posted a 36.4 percent  shooting total.

Southern will head home with an 18-14 record and a Gulf Coast Athletic Conference tournament championship.

"It (getting to the second round) was a big accomplishment," said Southern-New Orleans head coach Dale Valdery. "They played hard. There are some things we need to work on, but I was extremely proud of their effort. They didn't give up and they kept hustling even though we were down. They (Georgetown) were well prepared and did what they needed to win. Those are the things we're going to have to work on in the future."

Game notes:
Southern-New Orleans - Southern-New Orleans was a second-round participant for the third-straight appearance at the national tournament ... The Knights' all-time national tournament record dropped to 3-7 with the loss ... This is the second appearance in a row the Knights have been knocked out of the tournament by a team from the Mid-South Conference, falling to Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in the 2004 second round ... The loss snapped a season-long six-game winning streak ... The 52 points was a season-low for the Knights and their fewest in their history at the national tournament.

Georgetown - Georgetown will be making its fifth quarterfinal appearance in the last 10 years ... The Tigers will be matched up with Mountain State (W.Va.) for the second-straight season and third time in five years after falling to the Cougars in the semifinal round in both 2008 and 2011 ... Georgetown ran its all-time record at the national tournament to 54-29 ... The 52 points allowed was the fewest given up by a Georgetown team at the national tournament since yielding 49 in a victory over Arkansas Tech in 1996.

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