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Sixth-ranked Hornets post 76-61 win over Concordia (Ala.), at home against Reinhardt next Tuesday

MARIETTA, Ga. – In a non-conference home game on Tuesday night, the Southern Polytechnic State University men’s basketball team posted a 76-61 win over the Concordia College Hornets inside the Hornets Nest, giving Jeffrey Pourchier his first victory as SPSU’s head coach. Southern Polytechnic is ranked No. 6 nationally in the latest NAIA Division I coaches’ poll.

“It’s always good to get your first win,” Pourchier said. “I thought our guys did a great job in the second half of adjusting to what we talked about in the locker room at halftime. We held them to 29 points in the second half and we also talked about not shooting a lot of threes but taking the ball to the rack more. We did a good job of that in the second half. We got to the free throw line 19 times in the second half just by forcing the issue and driving to the basket.”

Southern Poly trailed early before building a 42-32 halftime lead. Concordia got to within three points twice in the second half, the last time at 58-55 with less than seven minutes remaining, but SPSU responded with an 18-4 run to take its biggest advantage, 76-59, in the final minute.

“Our goal was to hold them under 65 (points) tonight and we held them to 61, so we came through with that goal,” Pourchier said.

Southern Poly finished 6-of-23 (26.1 percent) from three-point territory and 20-of-28 (71.4 percent) from the free throw line, compared to 1-of-15 (6.7 percent) and 8-of-15 (53.3 percent), respectively, for Concordia. The visitors were guilty of 23 turnovers and SPSU collected 11 blocked shots. Concordia had a slim 45-43 advantage in rebounds.

For the winners, senior guard CJ McElrath scored a game-high 22 points while senior guard Martavis Kee ended with 19 points and four steals. Senior forward/center Jarred Riley had 15 points, plus added game bests of 10 rebounds and six blocked shots while senior guard Ricky Fuller came off the bench to record 10 points and six boards. Senior guard/forward Artie Marine pulled down nine rebounds while senior guard Chase Robinson chipped in with a game-high five steals.

“I thought Riley did a phenomenal job tonight,” Pourchier said. “He had 15 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks and anchored us defensively.”

Southern Poly evens its overall record at 1-1 while Concordia falls to 0-3. SPSU is back at home next Tuesday for a non-conference contest with the Reinhardt University Eagles, who Pourchier coached the past five seasons. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m., following the Reinhardt-Southern Poly women’s game that starts at 6 p.m. 

– SPSU –


MARIETTA, Ga. – The Southern Polytechnic State University men’s basketball team is ranked 13th nationally in a NAIA Preseason Top 20 poll conducted by Basketball Times magazine. Also, Southern Polytechnic’s Cortez Irby was chosen as a NAIA preseason All-American by the publication.

Defending NAIA Division I national champion Concordia University Irvine is rated No. 1, followed by 2011 national champ University of Pikeville. Emmanuel College (Ga.), from the Southern States Athletic Conference, is third with Oklahoma Baptist University and Columbia (Mo.) College rounding out the Top 5. Besides Emmanuel and Southern Poly, other SSAC squads in the rating include Lee University at No. 15 and Loyola University (La.) at No. 18.

The Hornets, under first-year head coach Jeffrey Pourchier, are ranked sixth in the country in the most recent NAIA Division I coaches’ poll. SPSU is also picked to finish as the overall conference champion by the SSAC head coaches.

Irby, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound senior guard from Camden, Ala., is one of 24 NAIA players from across the nation to be listed on the Preseason All-Americans list. Last season, Irby was a NAIA Honorable Mention All-American and an All-SSAC selection. In 2011-12, he averaged 10.4 points per game while leading Southern Poly in rebounds (8.6 a contest), three-point field goals made (60) and free throw percentage (77.6 percent).

Basketball Times is considered “The Real Voice of Collegiate Basketball” and has been for over 30 years. Widely read by coaches, administrators and basketball media, the magazine combines award-winning writing with incredible amounts of inside information.

The Hornets are 1-1 overall on the young season. SPSU hosts a non-conference game with Reinhardt University next Tuesday with the tipoff set for 8 p.m. at the Hornets Nest.

– SPSU –

No. 6-ranked Southern Poly opens 2012-13 season with 82-80 loss to Point in Pourchier’s debut as head coach, hosts Concordia (Ala.) next Tuesday

MARIETTA, Ga. – On Tuesday night inside the Hornets Nest, the Southern Polytechnic State University men’s basketball team opened its 2012-13 season with an 82-80 non-conference loss to the visiting Point University Skyhawks in Jeffrey Pourchier’s debut as the Hornets’ head coach. Southern Polytechnic is ranked sixth nationally in the NAIA Division I preseason coaches’ poll.

Southern Poly led just once in the game (2-0) before falling behind by nine points on three occasions. The Hornets trimmed their deficit to a single point (34-33) but Point came back to take a 40-35 halftime lead. The Skyhawks took their biggest advantage, 79-68, with less than three minutes left in the contest but a 12-1 run by SPSU tied it up at 80-80 with 29.5 seconds to go. The guests scored the game-winning basket before Southern Poly missed a three-point attempt in the final seconds.

“I thought we came out a little sluggish,” Pourchier said. “We’ve got a lot of new guys in a new system. I thought our guys took a little bit to get going and they jumped out on us. We tried to fight back but we missed some opportunities late in the game.”

The Hornets shot 39.7 percent (27-of-68) from the field while Point finished at 46.5 percent (33-of-71). SPSU, which outscored the Skyhawks 27-9 from behind the three-point line, was 17-of-24 (70.8 percent) from the free throw line, compared to 13-of-23 (56.5 percent) for Point. The hosts forced the Skyhawks into 24 turnovers but were outrebounded 48-36.

Senior guard CJ McElrath tossed in a game-high 26 points for Southern Poly while senior guard Martavis Kee had 14 points and four assists off the bench. Senior forward/center Jarred Riley tallied 10 points and two blocked shots while junior forward Kevin Phillip collected nine points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Chase Robinson added nine points and four steals.

Point is 2-1 overall on the young season. The Hornets return to action next Tuesday when hosting the Concordia College Hornets (from Selma, Ala.). Tipoff for the non-conference contest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

– SPSU –


MARIETTA, Ga. – The Southern Polytechnic State University men’s basketball team, under first-year head coach Jeffrey Pourchier, begins the upcoming season ranked sixth nationally, according to the 2012-13 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll that was recently released. The first regular-season Top 25 rating is announced on Dec. 4.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the NAIA conferences and unaffiliated groups. The panel also chose Southern Polytechnic as the top team in the Southern States Athletic Conference, followed by Lee University, Loyola University (La.), Belhaven University, William Carey University, the University of Mobile and Faulkner University.

“It is an honor to be ranked in the Top 10, but preseason rankings are just that, the preseason,” Pourchier said. “It just shows you the tradition and history that Southern Poly has. We have a whole new team and a new coaching staff. Every man on this team is going to work to help us win.”

In the NAIA preseason rating, the Hornets received 208 points. Defending national champion Concordia University Irvine is the top-ranked squad in the nation (250 points) and is followed by Oklahoma Baptist University (242), Georgetown College of Kentucky (231), Robert Morris University in Illinois (230) and Rogers State University (211). Rounding out the Top 10 are Our Lady of the Lake University (206 points), Westmont College (195), the University of Pikeville (188) and Columbia College in Missouri (170). Another SSAC team in the Top 25 is Lee at No. 15 (135 points). The entire poll can be viewed at naia.org.

SPSU, which finished 25-7 overall and 15-3 in the SSAC Eastern Division for second place last season, advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2012 NAIA Division I national tournament and was ranked 11th in the country in the coaches’ postseason poll. Southern Poly opens its 2012-13 campaign next Tuesday, Oct. 30 when hosting a non-conference game with Point University. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Hornets Nest.

– SPSU –

New head coach for Hornets men's basketball

Jeffrey Pourchier, head basketball coach

Athletic Director Matt Griffin has named Jeffrey Pourchier, former Reinhardt University (Waleska, Ga.) basketball coach, the new head coach of the SPSU Runnin’ Hornets men’s basketball team.

Serving as head coach of the Reinhardt Eagles from 2007-2012, Pourchier led the team to three consecutive winning seasons and back-to-back appearances in the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament championship. He also spent two seasons at Valdosta State University (VSU) as assistant men’s coach helping the team earn a 37-19 record. He capped his final season at VSU with an appearance in the NCAA Division II National Tournament in 2007.

Pourchier also has experience with the SPSU basketball program. He served as an assistant coach for two seasons from 2003-2005. During the 2004-2005 season the team clinched both the SSAC regular season and tournament championships, went 32-4, advanced to the third round of the NAIA tournament, and at one point in the season were ranked No. 1 in the country – a first for any sport in the school’s history.

“We are very happy to have Jeff back in our athletic program. He has a great work ethic and knowledge of the game,” said Griffin. “We are excited to have him lead our men’s basketball program after a great season last year that saw the team go undefeated at home and finish in the top 16 of the NAIA national tournament.”

The Lawrenceville native attended LaGrange College and was a stand-out on their basketball team, accumulating more than 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in his career. After earning a business management degree from LaGrange, he earned his MBA from SPSU. He currently resides in Canton, Ga.

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