February 20, 2013

Men's Basketball Preparing for Final Pair of Home Games

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The University of North Georgia men's basketball team split its pair of Peach Belt Conference cross division games last week, defeating Francis Marion University 1010-90 on Thursday, Feb. 14 and then falling 100-93 in overtime at the University of North Carolina Pembroke on Saturday. This week, the Saints will play their final two home games of the season, a Thursday 7:30 p.m. contest against Young Harris College and a Saturday 4:30 p.m. game against Lander University.

Thursday's contests against West Division foe Young Harris will be North Georgia's annual "Spirit Night" starting with the women's game at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday's doubleheader with PBC East foe Lander will be North Georgia's "Hall of Fame Games" with the latest class of inductees into the North Georgia Athletics Hall of Fame being recognized at half time of the women's 2:30 p.m. game. Saturday will also serve as "Senior Day" for the Saints as it will be the final home contest of the year.

North Georgia (14-9, 9-7 PBC) has won three of the last five games and currently sit third in the Peach Belt West Division behind the University of Montevallo and Young Harris. A win Thursday night would help the Saints' chances of becoming the No. 2 seed out of the West on their own accord.

The Saints are a 47.0% shooting team, which has them fourth in the conference in the category, and have connected on 37.0% from three-point range. The Saints' average of 84.3 points per game has them currently second in the league to Francis Marion's 89.8.

Ishmael Hollis, Lamar Richardson and Scott Windom continue to lead the way for the Saints with each averaging over 14.0 points per game.

Hollis leads the team with 15.8 points per game while shooting 46.4% from the field and 41.0% from three-point range. The junior forward from Buford, Ga. also brings down 7.4 rebounds per game – good enough for 10th in the PBC – and averages 2.4 three-pointers per game.

Richardson leads the team from three-point range with 3.7 treys per game which is second in the league. He averages 14.4 points and 29.0 minutes per game while shooting 43.0% from the field and 43% from three-point range.

Windom averages 14.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game and is second to only JC Ward in shooting percentage at 51.7%. Ward shoots 64.3% from the field.

Young Harris (15-8, 10-6 PBC) is currently in the midst of a two game losing skid after falling 94-60 at UNC Pembroke and 105-80 at Francis Marion last week.

When the Saints and Mountain Lions last met on Thursday, Feb. 7, North Georgia earned a 85-77 win on the Mountain Lions' home court.

As a team, the Mountain Lions shoot 43.5% from the field and 34.0% from three-point range while averaging a conference fourth-best 82.3 points per game.

Three players average double figures for Young Harris and all three are currently in the top-10 of the conference for scoring. Malcolm Jackson leads the way with 19.6 points per game, good enough for second in the league while Frank Adams is currently fourth with 18.7 points per outing. Vince Martin's 16.8 points per outing have him seventh in the PBC for scoring.

All three members of the trio have all started all 23 games for the Mountain Lions and are the only players to do so. Adams leads the team with 46.7% shooting from the field and 6.5 rebounds per game while Jackson averages 2.7 three-pointer per game. Martin leads the team with 8.1 assists per game.

Lander (7-15, 2-13 PBC) has won just one game in the last 12 contests and is currently last in the conference standings. The lone win came at home last week against Armstrong Atlantic State on Thursday, Feb. 14.

Despite their recent struggles, the Bearcats have claimed the last two meetings with North Georgia, including a 93-89 in Greenwood last season.

As a team, the Bearcats are shooting 43.9% from the field and 34.7% from three-point range behind Jareal Smith's 16.7 points per game in 21 starts. He is second on the team with 33 three-pointers made this season and shoots 42.2% from the floor and 37.1% from behind the arc.

David Pruett is not far behind with 16.1 points in 22 starts while Dermaine Smith adds in an average of 11.9 points per game. Dermain Smith leads the way on the boards for the Bearcats with 7.7, which has him currently eighth in conference, and his 63.1% shooting from the field leads the conference.