– The North Georgia women’s basketball team saw a bid
for their fourth straight victory come up short Saturday afternoon,
falling 81-63 to St. Leo University in the opening game of the 2009
Florida Southern Holiday Inn Classic.
The Lady Saints fall for the first time in nearly a month, dropping to 4-3 overall, while the St. Leo Lions improve to 6-2 on the young season.
North Georgia stayed close with the Lions in the first half as the Lady Saints held the lead for nearly four minutes and forced three deadlocks in the first half before St. Leo pulled away in the final minutes of the opening period.
The Lady Saints pulled to within three points at 26-23 with just 2:38 remaining in the first half, but St. Leo came alive, going on a 7-0 run over the next 1:10, capped by a jumper from Joanna Bussa to give the Lions a 10-point lead at 33-23.
North Georgia used a three-pointer from Janyce Ealey in the following possession however, sneaking back to within seven points at 33-26 heading into intermission.
In the opening minutes of the second half, the Lady Saints cut the St. Leo to five points on two different occasions before the Lions took their first double-digit lead of the game with 14:26 remaining and never looked back.
St. Leo led by as many as 24 points twice during the final five minutes, but the Lady Saints used a Kari McCann three-pointer in the final possession of the game to create the final margin of victory at 81-63.
Whitney Randolph was the only North Georgia player in double figures, scoring 16 points on 8-12 shooting from the field, while coming up two rebounds short of a double-double. Sarah Stinson pulled down a game-high nine rebounds, while Ealey added nine points on a perfect 4-4 performance from the free throw line.
Four St. Leo players finished in double figures, including Brittany Carannante who posted a game-high 23 points, knocking down four three-pointers, while Brianna Lollis was also stellar from long range, hitting five three pointers and tallying 18 points.
North Georgia finished the game at 34.8 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from long range, and 70 percent from the free throw line, while the Lions were 43.7 percent from the floor, 47.4 percent from the free throw line, and dazzled from behind the arc, going 10-19, good for 52.6 percent.
The Lady Saints return to action on Sunday afternoon, opposing tournament host Florida Southern College in the final game of the Holiday Inn Classic in Lakeland, Florida.