March 2, 2013

One Win Away, Saint Women Looking to Win Their Way into PBC Tournament

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The University of North Georgia women's basketball team will close out its 2012-13 regular-season this week with one final game, a 5:30 p.m. road contest at Georgia Southwestern State University.

The Saints have plenty to play for as they are just one win away from earning a berth into the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Basketball Championships. If the Saints can complete the season sweep over the Hurricanes, it will not matter what happens in the rest of the conference, they will be heading to the conference tournament for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

The Saints have already face the Hurricanes once this season, earning a 71-42 home victory on January 24 inside Memorial Hall Gymnasium. That game could be considered junior forward Mimi Hill's coming out party as she netted 24 points and used that performance as a spring board for the final stretch of games.

Since that game, Hill has scored in double-digits in every game and has averaged 23.7 points per game while setting her career-high four different times including that game. Hill was named this week's PBC Women's Basketball Player of the Week after averaging 34 points and eight rebounds in North Georgia's two games last week. For the week she shot 58% from the floor, hit all five of her three-point attempts and all 13 of her free throws. With her efforts, Hill is now ranked in the PBC's top-10 in scoring and is also ninth in blocked shots and free throw percentage.

Hill, who now averages 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, will lead a Saints' team into Americus, Ga. that is currently shooting 42.3% from the field and 32.7% from three-point range while averaging 65.9 points per game. The Saints are coming off a pair of games that saw them come from behind to win, including scoring a season-high 91 against Lander on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Junior forward Jaymee Carnes is averaging 17.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game entering the regular-season finale while sophomore guard Stephanie Huffman adds 11.8 points and 6.6 boards per outing. Huffman has now played all 40 minutes in 13 games this season and has played 30 or more minutes in all but one game.

Georgia Southwestern (3-22, 1-17 PBC) is the team at the bottom of the PBC standings and are in the midst of a 14-game losing skid. Their lone conference win of the season came at home against Young Harris, 97-89, on January 5. Since playing North Georgia back on January 24, the Hurricanes have lost by an average of 18.2 points which include the 29-point loss to the Saints and a 48-point loss to #2 Clayton State last Saturday.

As a team, the Hurricanes average 35.6% from the field with just one player averaging double-digit points in Jasmine McSwain. McSwain averages 12.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting a team-best 43.6% from the field but she netted just nine points off a 3-13 performance in the meeting with the Saints.

Behind McSwain, Danisha Green averages 9.5 points per game while Stormey Smith averages 7.3 and 3.2 assists per game. Smith is second only to McSwain in minutes played at 29.1 while McSwain averages 29.6. McSwain, Kelli Morrow, Kabrina Merriweather and Ottishia Burden have played in all 25 games this season for the 'Canes.