DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The North Georgia College & State University women's basketball team has one final out of conference matchup before they dive into their Peach Belt Conference schedule next week, and the Saints are working hard to prepare for a brutal test in one of the toughest conferences in all of NCAA Division II.
The Saints (2-4) are currently shooting just 34% from the field as a team while opponents have been hitting on 40.8% of their attempts through the first six games of the season. The Saints have also not been able to convert from three-point range as they have hit only 25.8% of their attempts from beyond the arc.
All-American Jaymee Carnes leads the scoring for the Saints with 22.0 points per game and is the only player on the squad with a shooting percentage in the 40% range. The junior from Gainesville, Ga. also leads the team with 8.5 rebounds per contest and is second with seven three-pointers for the year.
Stephanie Huffman is the second-leading scorer for North Georgia with 10.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per outing, but the sophomore guard is shooting just 30.2% from the field and 25.8% from three-point range.
Since defeating North Georgia 78-66 in the X-Trem Shoot-Out on Nov. 16 held in Memorial Hall Gymnasium, the Eagles (5-1) have gone 3-0 with wins over Georgia College, Columbus State and Brevard College.
The Eagles are currently shooting 37.1% from the field as a team with their opponents shooting 34.4%.
Carson-Newman is led by freshman guard Tatum Burstrom who averages 15.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.2 steals per game. She is second on the team with a .448 shooting percentage from the field but leads the team from three-point range with 19 on the year.
Senior forward Nikki James and junior guard/forward Shyra Brown are also averaging double-digit point totals with 11.2 and 10.7 respectively. Both lead the team in rebounds with Brown just edging out James with 7.2 boards per game compared to 7.0, but James leads the team in with a 56.5% shooting percentage and nine blocks on the season.
The last time the two programs met, Carson-Newman left Memorial Hall Gymnasium with a 78-66 victory in the Saints' season opener. Carnes led all scorers with 27 points while Huffman and Brown each recorded double-doubles. Huffman finished the contest with 11 points and 11 rebounds while Brown had 13 points to go along with 11 boards.
North Georgia shot 44.4% from the field compared to Carson-Newman's 40.9% and out-rebounded the Eagles 47-34, but five more three-pointers couple with a 48.1% shooting performance from the charity stripe by North Georgia proved to be the difference maker.