Bearcats Stay Strong, Take Down Lady Saints
– The recent struggles continued for the North Georgia
women’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon, mounting a
second-half comeback, but falling 80-65 at 15th-ranked Lander
University at Horne Arena in Peach Belt Conference action.
The Lady Saints’ bid to upset their first ranked opponent in more than two years came up short as North Georgia falls to 5-7 overall on the year and 1-3 in Peach Belt Conference play. The Bearcats however, continued their winning streak, taking their seventh straight game and improving to 14-1 on the year and a perfect 7-0 in league play.
After Lander opened the game with a three-pointer just 20 seconds into the contest, North Georgia responded and neither team led by more than a point until the 13:13 mark when Tiffany Marlow knocked down a jumper to give the Lady Saints a 12-9 lead, a margin that turned out to be their largest advantage of the game.
The Bearcats came right back and regained the lead before extending their advantage to double digits with a three-pointer by Brittni Johnson with 1:48 remaining in the half, giving Lander a 36-26 edge.
LU would continue to find their offensive touch and close the opening period on a 7-0 run, giving the Bearcats a 14-point halftime lead at 40-26. Turnovers keyed the Lander attack in the first half as the Lady Saints committed 13 turnovers while Lander turned those mistakes into seven steals.
The Bearcats came out in the second half and continued to extend their advantage, leading by as many as 19 points at two different times in the first five minutes of the second period as Shannon McKever knocked down jumpers to create what would be the largest lead of the game.
North Georgia started to cut into the lead the middle of the second half and pulled to within single digits with 7:36 remaining as Whitney Randolph hit a jumper to make it an eight-point game at 64-56.
The Lady Saints got as close as seven points with a Meredith Montgomery jumper with 5:26 left, making it a 69-62 contest, but Lander would close the game on an 11-3 run to come away with the 15-point victory.
Randolph continued her stellar play, leading all scorers with 24 points and while pulling down seven rebounds. The senior was 8-12 from the field and 7 -8 from the free throw line while making her only three-point attempt. Sarah Stinson and Montgomery were the only other North Georgia players in double figures, adding 12 points apiece.
Lander’s balanced scoring featured four players in double figures, led by McKever who tallied 17 points, while Johnson added 12, Ciara Lyons chipped in 11, and Brianna Webb recorded 10 points.
North Georgia returns to action on Monday evening, hosting USC Aiken in Memorial Hall with tip-off set for 5:30 p.m.