December 12, 2009

Lady Saints Poised Late, Defeat Mars Hill 86-81

Box Score

MARS HILL, NC – The North Georgia women’s basketball team converted 24-34 free throws, including seven straight free throws in the final 35 seconds of the game, to defeat Mars Hill 86-81 on Saturday inside Stanford Arena in non-conference action.

The Lady Saints improve to 4-2 overall on the season with their third straight victory, while the Lions fall to 2-6 and have lost four straight games.

The first half was a back and forth affair as Mars Hill grabbed an 11-10 lead seven minutes into the contest off a jumper by Margaret Harvey.

North Georgia held a three-point advantage, 29-26, off a trey by Meredith Montgomery, but the Lions took the upper hand, 36-35, off a layup by Krystal Moore with 57 seconds remaining in the first half. Sarah Stinson would give North Georgia the upper hand heading in intermission however, as the junior got an offensive rebound and converted a layup as time expired to give the Lady Saints the halftime edge.

North Georgia stretched its lead to eight points, 55-47, at the 13:21 mark in the second half off a layup by Alyssa Stokes, but Mars Hill cut the deficit to 57-55 off two free throws by Taylor Deal two minutes later. An Ieshia Alexander layup pushed the Lady Saint lead back to six points, 63-57, but the Lions tied the game at the 6:55 mark off a three by Moore.

With the game tied at 67 with 4:45 left in the game, Stokes nailed two free throws, and Mars Hill never regained the lead as North Georgia held on for the 86-81 victory.

Whitney Randolph led all North Georgia scorers with 22 points, while Janyce Ealey posted a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Stokes netted a season-high 21 points on 3-4 shooting from behind the arc and 6-8 shooting from the floor.

Young scored a game-high 24 points for Mars Hill. Moore finished with 17 points, 13 of those coming in the second half. Deal recorded 10 points.

The Lions were 13-23 from three-point range in the game compared to only 4-13 for the Lady Saints, but North Georgia outrebounded Mars Hill 48-31 overall and 16-4 on the offensive boards.

The Lady Saints will look to keep their win-streak alive next weekend, traveling to the Florida Southern College Holiday Inn Classic to take on St. Leo on Saturday afternoon, before opposing host Florida Southern on Sunday to cap off the holiday event.