January 25, 2014

North Georgia Claws Back With Late Rally To Edge Clayton State 84-81

MORROW, Georgia – (UNGAthletics.com) – The University of North Georgia men's basketball team ended a three-game slide and put the cap on a four-game road trip with an 84-81 victory over Clayton State University on Saturday in CSU's Athletics Center.  The Nighthawks trailed by nine (79-70) with just over four minutes left in the game but used a 14-2 run to close the game and pick up the Peach Belt Conference victory.

North Georgia trailed by five (79-74) following a layup by Ishmael Hollis with exactly 1:30 left in the game.  The next four Laker possessions would result in turnovers and a layup by North Georgia's Shaquan Cantrell with 38 ticks left would cap the explosive rally and give the Nighthawks their first lead since the 9:09 mark of the second half.

The Lakers had one final chance in the closing seconds, as the team trailed by three points, 82-79. Sirdarius Henry was fouled on a three-pointer with three seconds remaining, but he was only able to convert two of the three free throw attempts.

The Lakers fouled on the ensuing inbounds and Tanzy hit both free throws pushing the lead back to three points. A last second desperation shot for the Lakers was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.

Nine points was the largest lead by either team in a game that featured eight ties and nine lead changes.  Clayton State held a slight advantage on the boards (31-30) but North Georgia was able to create second possessions courtesy of 16 offensive rebounds.

Ishmael Hollis scored a team-best 27 points on 8-18 from the field highlighted by 3-6 from three-point.  Cantrell finished with 12 points while Chris Tanzy added 10 points and four assists.  Michael Varrichione pitched in with nine points and five offensive rebounds while Lamar Richardson contributed with eight points and five assists. 

Kelsey Terry paced Clayton State (6-11, 2-8 PBC) with a career-high 29 points fueled by 10-11 from the charity stripe.  Sirdarius Henry (16 points) and Craig Wong (12 points) completed the Lakers' double figure scorers.

North Georgia (7-9, 4-6 PBC) returns to action on Wednesday, January 29 with a home PBC game with Columbus State with tipoff set for 7:30 PM in Memorial Hall.  The game will be UNG's Military Appreciation Night.