Highlanders Rally To Pick Up First Win In 2021

DeAndre Hayes
DeAndre Hayes

DeAndre Hayes contested runner with 19 seconds to go sent Gordon State to a 71-70 win over Southern Crescent Technical College in a Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball game Saturday afternoon at the GSC Student Activity and Recreation Center Arena.

As the shot clock was winding down, Hayes (Durham, N.C. / Mt. Zion Christian Academy) drove down the lane and dropped in the eventual game-winning shot to give GSC (1-2 overall, 1-2 GCAA) its first win of the abbreviated 2021 season.

SCTC (3-3, 0-3) led by as many as 10 points in the first half (35-25) before GSC cut the advantage to 35-29 going into the halftime break. 

GSC finally took the lead at 65-64 with five minutes remaining on an offensive put-back from Varun Danak (Snellville, Ga. / Brookwood HS).

But SCTC went back in front 70-65, which led to one final rally by GSC.

After Hayes’s field goal gave GSC the 71-70 lead, JahNile Hill (Manchester, Ga. / Manchester HS) came up with a huge steal with 10 seconds left.

But after Hayes missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 2.7 seconds to go, SCTC had one last chance.

However, the GSC defense was suffocating and SCTC never got off a shot as the Highlanders found the win column for the first time in three outings.

Danak led GSC with a game-high 25 points – including 10 of 12 from the field – and added eight rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots in the winning effort.

Hill finished with 16 points, three steals and three assists while Isaiah Wray (Long Island, N.Y. / Union Grove HS) had 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for the Highlanders.

William Black III paced the Tigers’ attack with 15 points.

Incredibly, GSC has played three one-point games to start the season and will be back in action on February 18 when the Highlanders head to East Georgia State College for a 7:30 p.m. GCAA contest in Swainsboro.

The Gordon State College Department of Athletics is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA). Gordon State College competes in NJCAA Division I in the sports of Women’s Soccer (Fall), Men’s Basketball (Fall/Spring), Softball (Spring) and Baseball (Spring). Gordon State College is located in Barnesville, Ga., approximately 60 miles south of Atlanta and 35 miles northwest of Macon. Gordon State College offers both two-year and four-year degree programs and believes that our Athletics program provides student-athletes with the opportunity to be successful academically, athletically and in life after their time as a Highlander. Follow GSC Athletics at www.gscathletics.com, on Facebook (@GordonStateCollege #GSCHighlandersForward), on Twitter (@GordonState) and Instagram (gordon_state).