January 12, 2012

Lady Saints Go Cold From the Field in Loss to UNC Pembroke

Contact: Steve Cunha,

DAHLONEGA, GA - The North Georgia women's basketball team dropped their first home conference game of the season on Thursday evening, falling 65-56 to UNC Pembroke in Memorial Hall. 

The Lady Saints (7-6, 2-2 PBC) struggled offensively, shooting 34 percent from the field, including a season-low 14.3 percent from beyond-the arc. North Georgia also committed 14 turnovers to the Braves (6-8, 3-3) seven.

The loss was the third straight single digit loss for North Georgia to UNC Pembroke, who now lead the all-time series 6-5. 

The Braves scored on their opening possession when Dede Cotton converted an old fashioned three-point play and did not surrender the lead for the next seven minutes.

Jaymee Carnes got off to a hot start for the Lady Saints scoring the teams first seven points and hitting three of her first five shots. Stephanie Huffman gave North Georgia their first lead of the game when she converted a three-point play of her own to make it 10-9 with 12:16 remaining in the opening half. 

After Huffman converted her free throw, the Braves went on an 8-0 run capped by a trey from Amelia Partin with just under 11 minutes left. The seven point advantage would be the largest lead for either team in the first half.

Over the next several minutes the squads traded baskets and North Georgia was able to cut the Braves lead to a basket when Giovanni Sims made one of her two free throw attempts with two and a half minutes remaining. 

The two teams would go into the half knotted at 29 thanks to a Huffman three-pointer from well beyond the arc as time expired.

The second half started with the squads going back and forth with no team able to steal momentum until five minutes in when Kari McCann knocked down her first trey of the season to give North Georgia the 43-38 advantage, their largest lead of the second half. 

UNC Pembroke fought their way back and took a double-digit advantage thanks to a 14-4 run capped by a Jazmine Kemp jumper with two minutes remaining in the game to give the Braves a 61-51 advantage.

Offensively it was the Carnes show for the Lady Saints as she scored a game-high 28 points and grabbed 16 boards en route to her nation leading 11th double-double of the season.  Huffman added nine points and six boards, while Sims scored six and knocked down both of her field goal attempts. 

The game was much closer than the score indicates as there were eight ties in the game and the largest lead for either team was 10 points.

Despite their size advantage the Lady Saints were outscored in the paint 34-22 and the Braves bench produced 17 points to just six from the Lady Saints. 

All six of the North Georgia's bench points were scored by McCann who knocked down two of her seven three point attempts.

The biggest difference in the game was the three-point shooting. The Lady Saints hit only four of their 28 attempts, while Braves knocked down seven of the 18 attempts. 

The Braves were led offensively by Cotton who scored 17 points and pulled down eight boards, while Courtney Bolton, who did a terrific job defending Carnes in the post, added 11 points.

The Lady Saints return to the hardwood on Saturday, January 14, when they Travel to Young Harris looking to avenge an early season loss to the Mountain Lions.