Lady Saints Send Wolves Packing with Late Rally
DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia women's basketball team erased a 15-point first-half deficit on Thursday evening, sending Newberry College packing with an 58-55 victory in Memorial Hall in non-conference action.
The Lady Saints make it seven wins of their last eight games with the come from behind victory, improving to 8-2 on the year, while the Wolves, fresh off an upset of a top-25 club, drop to 5-3 on the season.
The Lady Saints held a brief lead in the opening minutes as Janyce Ealey scored the game's first bucket on a layup at the 18:38 mark, but Newberry answered right back with a 20-3 run to take a 15-point lead with 10:11 remaining in the half.
North Georgia chipped into the lead over the next seven minutes, pulling to within seven points at the 2:20 mark on a pair of free throws by Jessica Howard, but the Wolves' Ellie Gleeson hit a jumper with 58 seconds remaining to give Newberry a 31-23 advantage heading to intermission.
Buffie Burson's squad came out in the second half with a clear mission to put Lindsey Moss on the block and feed her the ball, and they did just that as the junior knocked down eight straight points to open the period, pulling North Georgia to within a bucket at 33-31.
Following a timeout by Newberry head coach Sean Page, the Wolves responded, scoring nine straight points of their own to push the lead right back to double-digits again at 42-31 with 13:24 remaining.
Newberry led by as many as 13 points in the second half before North Georgia started to heat up on the offensive end, putting together a 23-5 run that spanned over 11 minutes and resulted in a five-point lead by the Lady Saints with just 29 ticks remaining on the clock.
Moss hit a layup with 2:38 remaining to give North Georgia a one-point edge, and freshman Brooke Garmon followed with her second three-pointer of the night to make it a four-point lead at 55-51. The Lady Saints led by as many as five points during the final seconds before holding on for a three-point victory.
Ealey notched another double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds, going 8-for-17 from the field in 36 minutes of action, while Moss equaled her teammate's game-high 18 points, 13 of which came in the second half.
Garmon scored a career-high 12 points to post her best collegiate performance, going 3-for-5 from the floor, 2-for-3 from long range, and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line in 17 minutes of action.
Leanne Watson paced the Wolves with 14 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double and the only Newberry player to finish in double figures. Leading scorer and offensive threat Helen McKinney hit a trio of shots early, but finished just 3-for-28 from the field for nine points.
North Georgia shot 38-percent from the floor, 22-percent from behind the arc, and 57-percent from the charity stripe, while Newberry was 30-percent from the field, 16-percent from long range, and 80-percent from the free throw line.
The Lady Saints will have 15 days off for Christmas break before returning action on the final day of 2010, welcoming Young Harris to town on for a New Year's Eve showdown. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. in Memorial Hall against the Mountain Lions.