MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – Just 12 days ago, a missed free throw and a last second jump shot came between the University of North Georgia women's basketball team and a home victory over Georgia College. But the Saints were able to turn things around Thursday night and get revenge as they defeated the Bobcats 58-48 in Milledgeville.
The win broke a three-game losing skid for the Saints (5-8, 3-3 PBC) and pushed the Bobcats (9-5, 5-2 PBC) into their own two-game losing skid after having won seven in a row to end 2012 and start 2013.
The biggest factor in the game proved to be how well the Saints cleaned up the glass as they out-rebounded Georgia College 50-31. But the Saints were only able to convert those rebounds into nine second chance points.
North Georgia shot 40.4% (19-47) from the field in the game and their defense was able to step up and hold Georgia College to a 28.1% (18-64) shooting performance. But the Bobcats were able to shoot 7-23 (.304) from three-point range with five coming from Thresia Elskamp while the Saints were only able to muster three treys while shooting 23.1%.
Jaymee Carnes and Mimi Hill both recorded double-doubles to lead a quartet of North Georgia players who scored double-digit points. Carnes, who entered the game averaging 19 points and just under 10 rebounds per game, led the way with 13 points and 11 rebounds while Hill finished the game with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Stephanie Huffman and Cierra Jackson were the final two players to finish in double figures 12 and 10 points respectively. Jackson was clutch in the second half for the Saints as she went 2-2 from the field and 2-3 from the free throw line to help maintain the Saints' lead at key points.
Elskamp, who went 5-6 from beyond the arc, was the leading scorer in the game with 18 points. Three of her game-high five treys came in the second half and she only missed her last shot which was a hurried shot put up in hopes to cut the late deficit.
Following a 14-0 run in the middle of the first half, the Saints took an eight-point, 30-22, lead into halftime.
Out of the intermission, Georgia College was able to slowly eat away at the Saints' lead, but were never able to cut the deficit to more than five as North Georgia was able to match the Bobcats point for point for much of the second stanza.
With just over nine minutes remaining in the game, Jackson pushed the Saints' lead back into double-digits as she converted a three-point play off a layup and ensuing foul shot. Huffman then extended the lead to 15 just a few minutes later with a three-pointer that capped a 10-0 run by North Georgia.
The Bobcats were able to cut the lead back to single-digits with 3:51 remaining off one of Elskamp's treys, and despite several turnovers by the Saints in the following minutes, North Georgia's defense was able to hold strong to preserve the first win of 2013 and under the new name of the University of North Georgia.
North Georgia will now head home for four straight Peach Belt Conference home games starting Saturday, Jan. 19 against Augusta State University. The Saints and Jaguars will tangle at 1:30 p.m. with the game being North Georgia's annual "Military Appreciation Day" with all current and former military being admitted free of charge with a valid military ID.