February 21, 2013

Hill Sets NCAA Era School Record with 41 Points as Saint Women Cruise to 73-67 Win Over Young Harris

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – For the third straight week, Mimi Hill set a new career high in points, and this time, she set the school NCAA Division II era record for most points in a game. The junior forward from Gainesville, Ga. eclipsed the 40-point mark as she led all scorers with 41 points as the University of North Georgia women's basketball team collected a 73-67 Peach Belt Conference West Division win over Young Harris College on "Spirit Night" at home.

Hill recorded a double-double, her third of the season, as she also brought down 10 rebounds, five on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Hill ended the game 15-28 from the field and was perfect from both three-point range and the free throw line as she hit four treys and seven free throws to set a new career record in points for the third-straight week.

Both Hill and Stephanie Huffman played all 40 minutes of the game with freshmen Keeley Chester and Molly Rainwater also logging significant minutes with 37 by Chester and 38 by Rainwater. Chester was second on the team in scoring with 13 points while Rainwater ended the game with three three-pointers for nine points.

The Saints (10-14, 8-9 PBC) ended the game shooting 40.3% (25-62) from the field with the Saints' 25 made field goals matching the Mountain Lions (13-11, 7-10 PBC) in made field goals. Young Harris was slightly more efficient with a 42.4% (25-59) completion percentage in the game, but the Saints hit 10 of their 22 (45.5%) three-pointers and didn't miss a free throw until late into the game.

Lauren Smith led the way for Young Harris in scoring with 21 points as she went 8-17 from the field, but 0-4 from three-point range. Peyton Robertson was the second-leading scorer for Young Harris with 14 points.

In front of the loudest crowd the Saints have hosted all season, North Georgia jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the opening two minutes of play with Hill scoring four and Huffman recording all five of her points in the opening run.

Young Harris answered with eight unanswered points to cut into the lead, but wouldn't taste the lead until Smith hit a pair of free throws with 8:52 remaining in the opening half of play to edge Young Harris ahead 19-18.

The score was tied seven times in the first half, including 32-32 when the halftime buzzer sounded. Hill scored 20 of her 41 points in the opening half of play.

The Mountain Lions were able to score the first four points of the second half and used that to establish a five-point lead four minutes in (40-35). But the Saints fed off the high energy from the near capacity crowd and took the lead back for good when Hill hit a three-pointer at the 12:03 mark, putting the Saints up 48-47.

From there, the Saints never let the Mountain Lions pull closer than that one.

North Georgia has one final home game left in the regular season. The Saints will welcome PBC East foe Lander University to Memorial Hall Gymnasium on Saturday, Feb. 23 for a 2:30 p.m. game.

The conference doubleheader with the Bearcats will serve as North Georgia's "Hall of Fame Games" and "Senior Day." At half time of the women's game, the 2013 class of the North Georgia Athletics Hall of Fame will be introduced to the crowd and senior Crystal Moore will be recognized for her years at North Georgia prior to the start of the game.