GEORGETOWN — When crunch time came Saturday afternoon, Georgetown buckled down enough on defense to make a difference.
The Tigers, ranked No. 8 in NAIA men's basketball, pulled out an 84-80 Mid-South Conference victory over Lindsey Wilson.
"We were just able to knuckle down and get a couple stops when we needed to," Coach Chris Briggs said. "I felt like they were scoring every time there for a little bit.
"They made their run, and we were finally able to toughen up and get a couple stops, and then convert in transition once or twice. And convert in a half-court set with Deondre (McWhorter) playing big inside. So I'm just proud that they were able to withstand that run and finish the game."
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Georgetown (5-2, 2-2 MSC) was led by Gerard Coleman with 23 points. Noah Cottrill scored 17, all in the last 16 minutes. McWhorter had 14 points and six rebounds, and Bopper Stenzel added 12 points.
Charles Sutton had 16 points, while D'on Hall had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Raiders (4-4, 1-2). Julian Edmonson added 13 points, Tony Horne 12 and Kevin Bradshaw 11.
Georgetown rallied from an early 13-5 deficit to lead 45-35 at halftime.
Stenzel came off the bench to lead the Tigers with 12 in the half, shooting 4-for-6 from three-point range.
Lindsey Wilson had led 23-21. But Georgetown scored the next 10 points to kick-start a 16-1 run that gave the Tigers a 37-24 lead.
The lead was still 13, 54-41, when Cottrill scored his first points of the game on a three-pointer with 15:37 left.
The Raiders came back with a 9-2 burst, including back-to-back threes by Sutton and Edmonson, to make it a game again at 56-50.
Lindsey Wilson continued to chip away, finally pulling to within a point, 71-70, on Hall's put-back with 5:12 left.
"I was just like, 'man, it's my birthday weekend and I'm not trying to lose this game,'" said Coleman, whose birthday is Monday. "But we just stuck together."
That the Tigers did, never surrendering the lead.
The lead was 78-76 with less than two minutes left when Coleman thrust a dagger with a three-point shot from the top of the key.
"I was feeling it the whole game," said Coleman, who shot 4-for-8 from long distance. "My teammates were looking for me. (The defender) went underneath the screen. I was thinking about it in the huddle, 'if this guy goes underneath the screen on this play, I'm just going to bust it, man.' Thankfully it went in."
That made it 81-76.
Georgetown got back-to-back defensive stops, although getting only a Cottrill free throw at the other end. By then, ahead 82-76, only 31 seconds remained.
The Raiders' Horne scored on a put-back at :21.7, but Cottrill drained two free throws at :20.6.
Bryan Wallace made two free throws with 15 seconds left, pulling Lindsey Wilson to within 84-80.
The Raiders got the ball back, but missed their final two shots.
"I was really pleased with the way they moved the ball, shared the ball, were unselfish," Briggs said. "They spread it out, they penetrated, they made the extra pass, were looking for their teammate. I was really pleased with their unselfishness offensively."