DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The North Georgia College & State University women's basketball team closed out their season-opening tournament, the X-Trem Shoot-Out, with an 83-79 victory over the Argonauts of the University of West Florida Saturday night inside Memorial Hall Gymnasium.
The win improves North Georgia to 1-1 for the season while West Florida falls to 0-4.
Turnovers plagued the Saints the night before in a 78-66 loss to Carson-Newman College, but Saturday's contest saw the Saints take better care of the ball. North Georgia only committed 15 turnovers while forcing the Argos to turn the ball over 21 times.
The first half of play saw neither team able to pull away from the other, but Jaymee Carnes was able to give North Georgia the lead as she tipped the ball into the net off a missed three-pointer by Mimi Hill. Including the tip-in, the Saints scored seven-straight points to secure a 32-25 lead.
At half time, the score was 37-32 in favor of the Saint, but the second half started off with West Florida scoring the first four points off a pair of layups to cut the deficit to one and, with 13:18 still on the clock, the Argos took the lead off a Hanna Vette jumper.
West Florida was able to extend the lead to six off a Raquel Miller layup with 10:31 remaining, but the Saints were finally ready to answer spurred by a Keeley Chester jump shot.
Answering the need for points the most in the later portion of the game was freshman Molly Rainwater who made it rain with four three-pointers in the span of four minutes to give North Georgia a 71-68 lead. By the end of the contest, she had collected 17 points and led all shooters with five treys.
The Argos were able to pull back within two points off a Johnson three-pointer with 17 seconds remaining, but a put-back by Hill stretched the score back out. Raquel Millerthen made a layup with seven ticks left on the clock, but two free throws by Carnes with two seconds remaining sealed the win for North Georgia.
The Saints ended the night shooting 42.6% (29-68) from the field including a 16-31 (.516) effort in the second half. Three players finished in double-digit points for North Georgia including Rainwater and Carnes.
Carnes led all scorers with 26 points while bringing down five rebounds. She also had six assists, which was a team-high, and two blocks, which tied Cierra Jackson for the team-best in the category.
Stephanie Huffman was the final Saint in double-digits with 15 points. She also added six rebounds.
West Florida ended the 40-minute game with five players in double-figures off a 43.2% (32-74) team shooting effort. The Argos also out-rebounded the Saints 51-36.
Johnson was the leading scorer for the Argos with 21 points, but she went 7-22 from the field. Vette added 19 while Miller and Jaymie Druding each had 12 points. Kelseigh Hughes was the final player in double-figures with 10 points.
North Georgia will now hit the road for seven-straight road games to close out the 2012 calendar year, including starting their Peach Belt Conference slate on the road. The Saints will first travel down to St. Petersburg, Fla. where they will take part in the Eckerd Thanksgiving Classic on Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24 with games against Florida Southern College and Eckerd College. North Georgia will first play Florida Southern on Friday at 1:00 p.m. before going up against Eckerd on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.