February 16, 2014

#Nighthawks Stomp Francis Marion 78-54

DAHLONEGA, Georgia – (UNGAthletics.com) – The University of North Georgia men's basketball team opened the second half with decisive a 17-0 run to break open an 8-point game (32-24) and secure a run-away 78-54 Peach Belt Conference win over visiting Francis Marion University on Sunday in UNG's Memorial Hall.

North Georgia (10-10, 7-7) had four players in double-figures led by Lamar Richardson who had a game-high 18 points on 4-10 from three-point land. Michael Varrichione recorded his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Ishmael Hollis added 14 points while Shaquan Cantrell rounded out the Nighthawks' double figure scorers with 12.  Travis Core added eight points, four assists and four steals as the junior connected on all six of his shots (2-2 from the field & 4-4 from the free throw line).

The Patriots jumped out to a quick 11-5 lead with 13:39 to play in the first half. However, UNG would tie the game at 11-11, and build a lead of 29-18 with 5:36 to play before the break. FMU would cut the deficit to 30-24, but a Varrichione layup made the score 32-24 at halftime.

After intermission, eight of the first 13 Nighthawk points came courtesy of dunks spread around five points from Cantrell.  The Patriots didn't record a field goal until a three-pointer by Dustin Jones at the 13:37 mark.

The Patriots (8-14, 5-11 PBC) would get no closer than 19 points as the Nighthawks led by as many as 26 (74-48) with just over three minutes remaining. 

North Georgia held a 38-30 rebounding advantage and forced the Patriots into 17 turnovers.  The Nighthawks connected on 31-60 (52%) of their field goal attempts marking the fourth time in the team's last five games that they have made good on over half of their shots.

Jones would finish with a team-high 15 points for the Patriots. 

The Nighthawks have now won four straight since a 101-94 overtime loss to #12 Montevallo on Feb. 1.

North Georgia (11-10, 8-7 PBC) returns to action on Wednesday, February 19 when the team makes the short trip over Blood Mountain to take on Young Harris with a 7:30 PM start.