Naquavious King scored 22 points and Costa Anderson added 21 as South Atlanta led wire-to-wire en route to a 73-68 victory over the Eagles.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my guys,” South Atlanta coach Michael Reddick said. “Columbia is ranked No. 1 overall regardless of classification. We knew we were coming in here for a dogfight. An extra incentive was we knew that they hadn't loss at home in 100 games or so. So we wanted to try and do something [special] and my guys stepped up to the plate.”
Tahj Shamsid-Deen had 23 points and Brice Brown scored 16, including a rare four-point play, for Columbia, which missed a noticeable amount of layups.
After leading by as many as 11 points in the second quarter and 13 in the third period, the Hornets owned just a two-point edge (55-53) with a quarter remaining due to a long 3-pointer at the buzzer by Kyle Wallace (eight points).
Columbia moved within a point twice and for the final time after a pair of free throws by Shamsid-Deen with 1:09 left. But the Hornets got a huge offensive rebound and turnaround jumper from Terrance Lindsey (nine points, seven boards) seconds later for a 68-65 edge. On the Eagles’ ensuing possession, Wallace missed a long 3-point attempt and the Hornets made five foul shots to rebuild their margin and seal the win.
Kertiss Baisden finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds – nine offensive. Derrick Byrd had six assists and three steals for South Atlanta, which has won the last two meetings with Columbia.
“I respect this Columbia program tremendously,” Reddick said. “We’ve been in the region with them several times and it’s always been a battle from the Vincent Banks days until now. It just means a lot to me to go against a great program [like this]. We’re just thankful that we were able to get this win.”