Hunter Julius, Assistant Sports Information Director
GREENWOOD – The Lander men’s basketball team made 17 3-pointers and opened 2021 with an 83-66 non-conference victory over Young Harris Monday afternoon at Horne Arena.
Lander improved to 2-2 on the season. The Mountain Lions are 0-1. Although they are Peach Belt Conference rivals, this was a non-conference game.
It was the fourth consecutive win for the Bearcats over Young Harris.
The 17 treys were the most for Lander since Nov. 19, 2016, when the team hit 20 in an 87-83 win at King.
Zane Rankin made six shots from 3-point range for the Bearcats while Deon Berrien nailed four, and Sebastian Augustave and Jermaine Patterson three apiece.
Rankin made six of 11 shots from the floor, all from behind the arc, and paced Lander with 18 points.
Augustave posted 16 for the Bearcats while Berrien added 14 points. Patterson contributed 11 points, led Lander with 10 assists, and added eight rebounds.
LaRaymond Spivery scored 10 points for the Bearcats while DaJuan Moorer paced Lander with nine boards and three blocked shots. Marcus Thompson contributed seven points and five rebounds off the bench.
Brian Free led Young Harris with 18 points while Sebby Jean added 15 points while pacing the visitors with six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Karl Chavis scored 10 points For the Mountain Lions while Carl Cleveland shared team-high rebounding honors with six.
The Bearcats made 31 of 71 shots from the floor (44 percent), 17 of 44 from behind the arc (39 percent) and four of five free throws (80 percent) while out-rebounding Young Harris 40-38.
The Mountain Lions made 22 of 58 from the floor (37 percent), five of 21 from 3-point range (24 percent) and 17 of 24 from the stripe (77 percent).
Lander built early six-point leads at 12-6, 16-10 and 19-13 behind 3-pointers by Berrien, Augustave, Spivery and Rankin. It was the first of Rankin’s four first-half 3s that made it 19-13 with nine minutes left.
Seth McCoy’s 3 from the top of the key gave Young Harris its first and only lead of the game at 26-25 with 3:18 left in the half.
The Bearcats closed the half on a 16-3 run fueled by Moorer and Rankin. Moorer started the run with a dunk off a pass from Rankin, who was off-balance and falling out of bounds when he made the assist.
Berrien and Rankin made 3s from the left side, then Rankin hit one trey from the right side and another from the left corner. Moorer closed the half with a put-back basket, giving Lander a 41-28 lead at the intermission.
Augustave’s driving basket high off the glass upped the Bearcat lead to 45-29 at the 17-minute mark. The lead grew to 20 on Thompson’s basket, making it 52-32 with 15:24 to go.
Berrien’s 3 from the top of the key gave Lander a 62-42 advantage with 10:20 to go. Patterson’s trey from the right side expanded the advantage to 23 points, 65-42, inside the 10-minute mark.
Patterson and Berrien made 3s as the Bearcat lead grew to 71-44 with seven minutes to go.
Augustave’s layup off a nice interior pass from Thompson gave Lander a 78-55 lead with 4:10 remaining.
Rankin made his sixth 3 of the game and the team’s 17th, upping the Bearcat advantage to 81-63 with 2:20 to go.
Lander’s next game is Wednesday evening at PBC rival Georgia Southwestern.