February 18, 2012

Saints Weather Hurricanes, Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

Contact: Steve Cunha, sjcunh2033@northgeorgia.edu

DAHLONEGA, GA - The North Georgia men's basketball team kept their Peach Belt Tournament hopes alive for the time being on Saturday afternoon taking down Georgia Southwestern 70-65 on senior day in Memorial Hall. 

The Saints (10-16, 5-10 PBC) split the season series against the Hurricanes (12-12, 3-12 PBC) for the second time in three years.

The Saints will be anxiously watching the outcome of the Columbus State and Clayton State game this evening as North Georgia needs a Cougar win to keep their PBC Tournament hopes alive. 

North Georgia used the energy of senior night to jump out to an early 9-2 lead, capped by an Elijah Smith layup with 16 minutes left to play in the opening half.

The Saints held a steady four to five point lead throughout much of the opening half before the Hurricanes went on a 6-0 run to take a 22-20 lead capped by a Tyler Gunnett trey with eight minutes remaining. 

North Georgia would respond with a 10-0 run of their own over the next four minutes capped by a pair of free throws by Pat Moynihan. The Hurricanes would quickly erase the eight-point deficit as they countered with a 9-3 run to close out the first half and the squads would head into the break tied at 33.

After the seesaw action in the first half the Saints came out in control and led for the remainder of the contest. The Saints stretched their lead to as many as nine points when junior transfer Scott Windom hit a layup with 17 minutes left to play. 

The Hurricanes would battle back, knotting the game at 62 when Jamon Hawkins hit a layup with 3:15 remaining in the contest. The Saints would respond with a 5-0 run and freshman Travis Core would make three free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

The balanced North Georgia offensive attack was paced by seniors Clarence Tillman and Smith who each scored 13 points. Core poured in 12 points and Windom added 10 points off the bench. 

The Hurricanes were led by Hawkins who scored a game-high 20 points off the bench and Evan Mobley added 15 points.

North Georgia returns to the court on Wednesday, February 22, when they host Columbus State in the annual SAB Spirit Night game. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm.