WAYCROSS, Ga. -- Gordon State's men's basketball season came to a close Tuesday night in the first round of the Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA Region 17) as the Highlanders fell to South Georgia State College 71-63 at The Nest.
GSC, the No. 6 seed in the tournament, finishes the season at 9-18 overall while SGSC, the No. 3 seed, improved to 25-6 and moves on to the semifinals to face No. 2 seed Georgia Highlands College on March 7 at 8 p.m.
The other semifinal will feature No. 1 seed Central Georgia Tech, which is hosting the semifinals and championship game, going up against No. 5 seed Andrew College at 6 p.m.
In Tuesday's quarterfinal loss, GSC's Eleik Bowles (Savannah, Ga. / Sol C. Johnson HS) led all scorers with 26 points, including a trio of three-pointers, in his final game as a Highlander.
Bowles, who was named NJCAA All-Region 17 second team over the weekend, added seven rebounds and two assists.
GSC took a 29-26 lead into the locker rooms at halftime, but SGSC outscored the Highlanders 45-34 in the second half to secure the victory and move on to Saturday's semifinal.
Marquise Jackson had 19 points to lead the way for SGSC while Bryce Brown had a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Will Ferguson added 15 points for the Hawks, who hit just 1 of 12 three-pointers but connected on 28 of 41 free throws in the game.
GSC, which lost its fifth consecutive game to close out the 2019-2020 season, was 16-for-22 from the free throw line.
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. You can follow GSC Athletics at www.gscathletics.com, on Facebook (@GordonStateCollege #GSCHighlandersForward), on Twitter (@GordonState) and Instagram (gordon_state).