March 14, 2009

*Courtesy of Augusta State Athletics

AUGUSTA, Ga. - L.J. Dunn's baseline jumper with 1.8 seconds left gave fifth-seeded Barton a thrilling 80-78 win over Georgia College & State University Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament's Southeast Regional. Dunn's heroics came after an improbable four-point rally by GCSU in the final 35 seconds. With the win, Barton (25-6) advances to the regional semifinal where they will meet top-seeded host Augusta State on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.. GCSU sees their season come to a close with a 22-7 record.

Down 77-73 with 35 seconds to go, GCSU's Shaun Keaton hit a three-pointer with 19 seconds to left. On the ensuing foul, Barton's Jaren Haley hit one of two free throws for a two-point lead. Keaton was then fouled driving down the sideline and hit both of his free throws to tie the game at 78 with 14 seconds left. Barton inbounded and Dunn was left alone on the baseline 12 feet from the hoop.

Dunn led Barton with 21 points, hitting eight of 12 from the field and grabbing six rebounds. Bobby Buffaloe added 17 including a trio of three-pointers, all in the second half. Greg Mammel added 10 points while David King led the Bulldogs with seven rebounds.

Keaton scored the final eight points for the Bobcats over the last 1:07 of the game and led the team with 25 points. Graham Martin added 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds while Ty Rowland put in 10.

GCSU hit three of their first four shots from the field to race out to a 9-4 lead to begin the game. Barton answered with seven straight points including a three from Suggs and tied the game at 14 on a Dunn free throw. The game remained nip-and-tuck for the next three minutes and was tied at 20 until the Bobcats went on an 8-0 run sparked by a Keaton jumper as four different players put in buckets.

Barton cut the lead down to six with 2:42 to play on a layup from David King, but was immediately answered by a Ty Rowland three-pointer to give GCSU a nine-point lead, their largest of the half and they led at the break 37-30.

GCSU increased that lead to as many as nine in the second half, leading 51-42 with under 13 minutes to play when Barton responded yet again with 12-2 run to take their first lead of the half. L.J. Dunn had back-to-back layups followed by a Buffaloe three-pointer to give the Bulldogs the 53-51 lead with 10:59 to play.

The two teams traded the lead eight times over the next seven minutes until a layup from Barton's Errol Frails put the Bulldogs up 69-67 with 2:27 to go. A Buffaloe three-pointer pushed that to five points and Barton would never trail again.

Barton shot 47% from the field for the game, 65% in the second half. The Bulldogs were nearly unstoppable from long range in the final 20 minutes hitting eight of 10 three-pointers. GCSU hit 48% for the game and drained 22 of 27 free throws. Barton made only nine of their 20 free throw attempts while GCSU was 6-23 from three-point range (.261).