DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The University of North Georgia men's basketball team jumped out to a 15-point lead in the first half, but were unable to hold on for the win Thursday night as Young Harris College regrouped to shoot 48.6% in the second half en route to earning an 89-83 Peach Belt Conference West Division win.
North Georgia (14-10, 9-8 PBC) ended the game shooting a sholid 49.3% (36-73) from the field compared to Young Harris' 43.1% (31-72). The difference makers proved to be the Mountain Lions (16-8, 11-6 PBC) making 17 more trips to the foul line and scoring 12 points off the Saints' 16 turnovers.
Ishmael Hollis led the Saints with 19 points, including three treys, while Scott Windom recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. JC Ward was the final starter in double-digit points with 16 while Pat Moynihan came off the bench to score 11 points.
Young Harris' Malcolm Jackson led all scorers with 31 points off an 11-23 performance that included going 6-12 from three-point range and 3-6 from the free throw line. Vince Martin was the Mountain Lions' second-leading scorer in the game with 23 points. Eight of his points came at the charity stripe.
The Mountain Lions capitalized on winning the opening tip with a two-point jumper from Frank Adams to start the game, but the Saints scored the next five points and quickly established their lead that they did not relinquish unti nearly nine minutes into the second half.
After North Georgia went into half time with a 49-34 lead, Young Harris came out firing on all cyclinders with a 7-2 run in the first 3:30 of the second half, including six points from Jackson.
The Saints struggled with turnovers early in the second half and never fully recovered as the Mountain Lions retook the lead off a Martin jumper at the 11:07 mark. From there, the two teams swapped the lead back and forth four times before Martin gave Young Harris the lead back for good with a three-pointer with just over four minutes remaining in the game.
North Georgia will play one final regular season home game, a 4:30 p.m. matchup with PBC East foe Lander University on Saturday, Feb. 23. The conference doubleheader with the Bearcats will serve as North Georgia's "Hall of Fame Games" and "Senior Day."
At half time of the women's game, the 2013 class of the North Georgia Athletics Hall of Fame will be introduced to the crowd and seniors Windom, Ward, Moynihan, Tyler Norman, Ryan Sharpe, Robby Goldsmith and Victor Holder will be recognized prior to the start of the men's game as part of the "Senior Day" festivities.