There was no late-game magic for the Thomas University men’s basketball team Tuesday night.
After edging Coastal Georgia 82-81 on the road Nov. 30 with Justyn Watkins hitting the game-winning bucket with less than a second remaining, the Night Hawks were unable to hold onto a one-point halftime lead at the TU gymnasium Tuesday night as the Mariners pulled away for an 82-74 win.
During a seesaw first half, the Night Hawks, who fell to 8-4, used a late push to grab the narrow halftime lead.
However, TU was unable to hold on in the second half despite 19 points from former Thomasville High standout Trey Gosier. Adonai Rogers and Max Grace also finished in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Watkins, who entered the game 11th in the nation in NAIA Division II in scoring at 23.8 points per game, was held to a season-low five points on 1 of 6 shooting.
Fare’al Walker had 11 rebounds to lead TU.
Coastal Georgia 72
Thomas women 66
A strong second-half defensive performance was not enough to help the Night Hawks overcome a 52-34 halftime deficit.
TU, which fell to 6-7, trailed by 19 points with 13 minutes remaining before starting to mount a rally. Holding the 13-0 Mariners, who are ranked No. 14 in NAIA Division I, scoreless for more than three minutes, TU started to whittle away at the deficit. Sparked by two free throws and a bucket from Jessica Anderson, TU pulled within 61-48 with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Coastal Georgia, though, responded as it quickly pushed the lead back to 71-52 with 7:03 left. But TU had one more push left.
Scoring just one point in the final seven minutes of the game — a free throw with 2:56 left — Coastal Georgia hit just 1 of 10 free throws down the stretch to aid TU’s comeback attempt. Anderson, who scored 11 points as one of four Night Hawks in double figures, cut the lead to 10 with 3:43 left at 71-61.
Following the lone Coastal Georgia point down the stretch, Taylor Britt scored inside to get the Night Hawks within single digits for the first time since the first half. Britt led Thomas with 16 points.
However, the Night Hawks wouldn’t score again until the final 18 seconds when Britt hit one of two free throws and then Christina Wynn scored with two seconds left.
Joining Britt, who also had nine rebounds, and Anderson in double figures for TU were Shaunice Bennett with 10 and Ivory Smith, who recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.