By: Michael MacEachern
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. | Brian Harper scored 27 points to lead six players in double figures as the Young Harris College men's basketball team defeated Clayton State University 102-95 in a Peach Belt Conference contest Wednesday (Jan. 8) evening at the YHC Basketball Arena.
Young Harris improved to 3-9 overall and to 1-3 in the Peach Belt as the Mountain Lions eclipsed the 100-point mark for the first time this season.The Lakers fell to 2-9 and 0-4. YHC wraps up its three-game homestand with a 3:30 p.m. PBC contest Saturday (Jan. 11) against Augusta University.
Clayton State opened up a quick 10-point lead (17-7) as Ricardo Saams Jr. hit a layup with 15:25 left in the first half. The Mountain Lions battled back to tie the game at 36 after Harper hit a layup with 2:42 to play and took their first lead of the game at 41-40 after Paul Miller hit a layup with 20 seconds.
The Lakers led 42-41 at the half and expanded their lead to six (48-42) on an old-fashioned three-point play by Saams with 18:14 to go. Young Harris took the lead for good at 63-61 on a Seth McCoy three-pointer with 12:11 to play. That basket jumpstarted a 13-2 run by the Mountain Lions that saw YHC open up a 73-63 lead after Makiah Fox's layup with 8:41 remaining.
Clayton State would get as close as three points (98-95) after Bryan Hart hit two of three free throws with 20 seconds left, but the Mountain Lions hit all four free throw attempts over the final seconds to seal the win.
Harper had a double double as he also dished out 11 assists for the Mountain Lions in addition to his six steals. McCoy tallied 19 points on 4-of-5 shooting from long distance, while Ryle Owens and Jonathan King each tossed in 14 points. King also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, while Owens had six. Jacorie Archie had 11 points and seven rebounds for YHC, while Miller added 10 points.
Saams led Clayton State with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while Kyle Kincey added 20 points and seven rebounds. Tionne Williams Jr. added 12 points and seven rebounds, while Byron Abrams and Brian Sims Jr. had 11 points apiece.