RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Georgetown College rallied from an early nine-point deficit to build a 13-point second half lead of its own, but the Tigers had to hang on in the final 90 seconds to post a 74-68 win over the University of Rio Grande, Saturday afternoon, in Mid-South Conference men’s basketball action at the Newt Oliver Arena.
Georgetown upped its record to 15-5 overall and 7-5 in the MSC with the win, its ninth in as many all-time meetings with Rio Grande.
The RedStorm (7-14, 3-9) lost for the fifth time in their last six outings. The last three losses during the span have come by a total of just 15 points.
Monty Wilson scored a game-high 25 points for the Tigers, going 6-for-6 at the free throw line in the final 31.8 seconds to seal the victory in a game that featured four ties and seven lead changes.
Wilson was his team’s only double-digit scorer.
Georgetown hit just two of its first 21 field goal attempts as Rio Grande jumped to an 11-2 lead, but the Tigers methodically started the road back and took their first lead of the day, 22-21, on a three-point by Mychal Parker with 4:52 left in the first half.
The Tigers eventually settled for a 32-31 lead at the intermission before scoring 16 of the first 20 points in the second half to take their largest advantage of the contest, 48-35, following a layup by Wilson with 15:51 remaining.
The lead still stood at 12 points, 63-51, with 6:46 left to play when the RedStorm began their own methodical comeback.
A right wing jumper by freshman guard D.D. Joiner capped a 12-4 run and got Rio to within 67-63 with 1:27 remaining.
Twice more in the final 30 seconds the RedStorm closed the gap to four, but they got no closer. Both times - once with 17.3 seconds left and the other with 9.9 seconds showing on the clock - Wilson hit a pair of free throws which allowed the Tigers to short-circuit the Rio comeback.
After its ice-cold shooting to open the game, Georgetown hit 25 of its final 46 shots to finish the game 27-for-67 (40.3 percent).
Vic Moses and Deondre McWhorter led the Tigers with eight rebounds apiece, while Moses added a team-best three steals and Garel Craig handed out five assists.
Rio Grande had four players reach double figures in the loss, with Joiner and senior center Dominick Haynes both netting 17 points. Haynes also blocked three shots.
Junior forward Karl Moore tossed in 11 points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, while senior guard Kaleb Kimber added 10 points.
The RedStorm shot just 33 percent from the field overall and hit just two of their 21 three-point tries, but they connected on 28 of their 32 free throw attempts - including a perfect 17-for-17 showing to start the game.
Rio Grande returns to action on Thursday night, traveling to seventh-ranked Lindsey Wilson College. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. EST.