February 1, 2012

Big Second Half Propels Hurricanes Past Lady Saints

Contact David Beall, jdbeall@northgeorgia.edu

AMERICUS, GA – The North Georgia women's basketball team held a two-point lead heading into intermission on Wednesday evening, but Georgia Southwestern came out on fire in the second half and pulled away for an 87-68 victory at the Storm Dome in Peach Belt Conference action. 

It was a tale of two halves as the Lady Saints (10-9, 4-6 PBC) have now dropped four of their last five games. The surge for the Hurricanes (13-6, 5-5 PBC) put them in sole possession of third place in the PBC standings.

North Georgia started the game just as they had planned and led by as many as six points at two different times in the first half, but GSW closed the half with four straight points to cut the lead to just two at 38-36 heading into the half. 

The Lady Saints got a lift from Jessica Trice in the first half, as the sophomore was 2-for-4 from long range and 3-for-5 from the field for 10 points.

The second half was all Georgia Southwestern, as the Hurricanes scored the first 12 points of the period and raced out to a double-digit lead. Terra Branch fueled the run with seven of her team-high 24 points coming in the first five minutes of the second half. 

The only bright spot for North Georgia in the second half was the hot hand of Jaymee Carnes,who scored 17 points over the final 20 minutes and finished with a game-high 29 points. She also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds to finish with her 14th double-double of the year. The Gainesville, Georgia, native raised her scoring average to 25.9 points per game, a mark that still leads the country.

The Lady Saints were a dismal 54.3 percent from the free throw line, missing 16 of their 35 chances at the charity stripe. North Georgia was also just 27.3 percent from behind the arc, going 3-of-11 from long range. 

The pressure from the Hurricane defense forced the Lady Saints into 28 turnovers as a team, as all eight North Georgia players were charged with a miscue. GSW scored 23 points off those turnovers.

The Lady Saints return to the hardwood on Saturday afternoon, traveling to Columbus State to take on the Cougars. Tip off is slated for 1:30 p.m. in the Lumpkin Center.