December 7, 2012

Men’s Basketball Road Swing Continues Against Limestone

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Last season, the North Georgia College & State University men's basketball team went 4-2 through their first six games. This season, the Saints have matched that record but have put up better numbers, and that trend will have to continue this Saturday as the Saints will travel to Gaffney, S.C. to take on a very dangerous Limestone College team which North Georgia has never beaten.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Through the first six games of this season, North Georgia has shot 48.8% from the field. That is an imrovement over last season's first six games that saw the Saints shoot 43.3% from the field. The 2011-12 Saints made 155 shots while this year's squad has made 201 field goals.

The biggest improvement can be seen in the Saints' perimeter game. From three-point range, North Georgia has shot 41.8% from beyond the arc whereas, a year ago, they shot just 34.8%. Last season, the Saints made just 40 three-pointers during their first six games. This season, head coach Chris Faulkner's group has drained 76 treys.

Junior transfers Ishmael Hollis and Lamar Richardson have led the resurgence of the three-ball as they have combined to convert 49 of the Saints' 76 treys and are shooting a combined 47.1% from three-point range.

In last week's 108-81 victory over NAIA institutionTruett-McConnell College, Hollis recorded 23 points and eight rebounds. It was the third time this season he has scored more than 20 points in a game and that has him averaging 20.5 points per contest. He is also averaging 8.8 boards per game after back-to-back double-double performances against Newberry last month.

Richardson was the other player to lead the Saints in scoring against the Bears with 23 points of his own. He matched his season-high with six three-pointers in the game and had his second-best shooting performance of the season as he went 8-14 (.571) from the field. For the season, he is averaging 16.8 points  and 4.5 three-pointers per game.

Scott Windom is the final player currently averaging more than 10 or more points per contest with 13.5. He has had just one game with fewer than 10 points and matched his season-high of 17 points against Truett-McConnell last week. The senior forward is the second-leading rebounder on the team, bringing down 6.8 boards per contest.

Limestone is currently on a four-game winning streak after losing their season-opener to Lenoir-Rhyne University. The Saints from Gaffney are shooting 49.0% from the field, 44.8% from three-point range and 80.4% from the free throw line and are an all-around dangerous team. At home, the Saints are averaging 85 points per game while holding their opponents to just 65.6 points and feature five players who average double-digit points, including four of their starting five.

Charles Blue has led Limestone in scoring in three games this season and currently leads the team with 18.6 points per contest. He is also Limestone's leading blocker with six blocks for the season. He is shooting 50.8% from the field and 25-30 (83.3%) from the charity stripe while also averaging 7.4 rebounds per game, second-best on the squad.

Behind Blue, Mike Barrett is averaging 14.2 points per contest off a 52.1% shooting performance from the field. He is third on the team with eight three-pointers and has been perfect (13-13) from the free throw line.

PJ Foster and Joe Raga are the other two starters in double-digit points for Limestone with Foster averaging 11.2 while Raga averages 10.8. Raga also leads the team with 7.6 boards per contest and is a scorching 66.7% from the field.

Josh Corry comes off the bench giving Limestone 10.2 points per game and leads the team with 11 three-pointers for the season. He is shooting 37.9% from three-point range.