February 1, 2012

Late Block Dooms Saints in Loss at Georgia Southwestern

Contact Joey Daniels,

AMERICUS, GA – North Georgia dropped another Peach Belt game on Wednesday night, when they fell 75-73 at the hands of Georgia Southwestern in the Storm Dome.

Head coach Chris Faulkner shook up the starting lineup for the first time this season, but it came to no avail as the Saints have now dropped eight of their last nine. 

North Georgia (8-13, 3-7 PBC) again held a late lead but was unable to hold off the host Hurricanes. It has been a familiar story for the Saints, as the inability to close out games has cost them all season long. If not for a few extra baskets or a few extra defensive stops, North Georgia could easily be 7-3 in the PBC instead of 3-7.

The in-state rival game did not come without drama however. With 3.2 seconds showing on the clock and the Saints trailing by two, Faulkner drew up what looked to be the perfect play. As Chaun Tinney received the pass, he was blocked from behind by Tyler Gunnett, which North Georgia felt was a foul. 

The no-call kept the Saints free falling and they now sit in last place in the PBC West Division.

Elijah Smith led North Georgia with 14 points and six rebounds. The senior made it to the free throw line 12 times, but only converted on half of his attempts. 

Two other players finished in double figures, as Scott Windom and Clarence Tillman finished with 10 and 11 points respectively. Windom also grabbed 12 rebounds, giving him another double-double on the year.

Georgia Southwestern (12-7, 3-7 PBC) shot 50 percent (24-48) from the floor and got a huge game from Evan Mobley. Mobley finished with a game-high 33 points, while fueling a Hurricane run midway through the second half. 

Milos Kleut scored 18 points for the preseason favorite, while Jamon Hawkins added 11 points off the bench.

The Saints will look to bounce back from their recent struggles against Columbus State on Saturday. North Georgia travels to the Lumpkin Center before coming home for two games next week. Tip-off against the Cougars is set for 3:30 PM.