December 30, 2011

Lady Saints Rally Late, Take Down Newberry 73-70 in Overtime

Contact: Steve Cunha,

NEWBERRY, SC – The North Georgia women's basketball team wrapped up the calendar year with a 73-70 come from behind overtime victory over Newberry College at Eleazer Arena on Friday afternoon.

The Lady Saints (6-3, 1-0 PBC) went on the road for the first time this season and picked up their first win of the year against a South Atlantic Conference school, after falling earlier in the year 78-63 to Tusculum.

The first half was filled with scoring runs by both squads as North Georgia opened the game on a 12-0 run over the first three and half minutes of the game, before Neicey Lewis hit a free throw to put the Wolves (7-3, 2-0 SAC) on the board.

During the opening run, sophomore sensation Jaymee Carnes scored eight points while Amanda Rector and Jessica Trice each knocked down a jumper.

Newberry responded over the next five minutes, playing stout defense and a patient offensive attack to go on a 20-5 run capped by a layup from Ellie Gleeson with nine minutes remaining in the opening half to give the Wolves a 20-17 lead.

Over the next few minutes the two teams traded hoops before the Wolves went on a 13-2 run with just under three minutes remaining to pull ahead 36-24. For the remainder of the opening half the two teams traded baskets as Newberry took a 38-30 lead heading into the break.

Newberry started the second half red hot, hitting four of their first five shots to stretch their lead to 16 at 50-34. However, the Lady Saints would not go down without a fight, as they would  respond with a 16-0 run of their own to take a 51-50 lead.

The run was capped with a Carnes jump shot who continues to dominant early in the season. Carnes recorded her eighth double-double in nine games, scoring a game-high 39 points and 14 rebounds, while adding five assists and four blocks.

Through nine games, Carnes continues to lead the nation in scoring, averaging 28.3 points per game and accounting for 47 percent of the team's scoring.

Over the final seven minutes the teams battled, trading baskets as the Wolves took a four-point lead with just under two minutes remaining when Kendra Brown made a layup.

Just as they had done all afternoon, the Lady Saints responded with a 4-0 run to end regulation as Trice made two key free throws to tie the game with under a minute to play.

In overtime it was the Carnes show again, as she scored six of her 39 points to put North Georgia in the driver's seat.

With 24 seconds remaining Carnes made a jumper to give the Lady Saints a 71-70 lead and on the ensuing possession she blocked the game-winning layup attempt, reeled in the rebound while being fouled and made both free throws to cap the victory, and the calendar year for coach Buffie Burson's squad.

Although she struggled from the field, Trice hit five of her six free throws to add 10 points for the Lady Saints and freshman Stephanie Huffman continued her strong play, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 boards for her first career double-double.

The Wolves were led by Kendra Brown who scored 17 points off the bench, while Haylee Lepaio added 15 points and 10 boards. 

The Lady Saints return to the hardwood on Tuesday, January 3, when they travel to Clayton State for their second Peach Belt Conference game of the season. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Athletics and Fitness Center in Morrow, Georgia.