March 7, 2013

North Georgia Upsets #24 Augusta State, 70-60, in Opening Round of PBC Tournament

COLUMBUS, Ga. – The University of North Georgia women's basketball team's hot streak continued Thursday afternoon as the Saints, the four-seed out of the West Division, knocked off No. 24 Augusta State University 70-60 in the opening game of the 2013 Marvin Vanover Peach Belt Conference Basketball Tournament hosted by Columbus State University.

The Saints (13-14) entered the tournament having won their last three games, and four of their last five, to make the field while Augusta State (21-6), the one-seed out of the East, ends the season after having won 20 games for the first time since the 2007-08 season. The two met earlier in the season in Dahlonega, Ga. where the Jaguars escaped with a two-point, 54-52.

North Georgia ended the quarterfinal contest with three players having scored at least 20 points as the All-PBC trio of Jaymee Carnes, Stephanie Huffman and Mimi Hill went a combined 19-35 (54.2%) from the field to score 66 of the Saints' 70 points. The team ended the game shooting 43.2% (19-44) from the field, which matched exactly the Saints' regular-season performance against the Jaguars, and 8-18 (44.4%) from three-point range.

Huffman and Carnes matched the game-high of 23 points with Huffman being more efficient from the field, going 7-9 and 4-5 from three-point range. Carnes ended the contest with her 11th double-double of the season as she corralled in 15 rebounds.

Hill scored 20 points, including going 10-12 from the free throw line. Six of her free throws came in the last two minutes of the game.

All but one player for Augusta State scored in the game as the Jaguars shot 35.8% (24-67) from the field and 30.4% (7-23) from beyond the arc.

Tiffany Jaecks led the Jaguars with 23 points off a 10-14 performance. All-PBC selection Tanchelle Hollingsworth was the other player for Augusta State in double-digits with 14 points, including four three-pointers.

North Georgia entered half time with a 35-24 lead after Carnes hit a buzzer-beater, fall-away three as time expired, after the game was tied five times. The 11-point deficit was Augusta State's largest deficit all year.

In the second half, the Jaguars managed to close to within two points when Hollingsworth drilled a three-pointer with 8:55 remaining in the game. Jaecks then cut the deficit to just one, 47-46, before Carnes hit one of her two three-pointers followed by a Hill layup to stretch the score back out to 52-46.

Despite a stiff defense by Augusta State, North Georgia remained resilient and stretched the lead back out to the final 10 points using a 9-4 run in the final 1:55 of regulation.

The Saints will next play the winner of the day's second game between the University of Montevallo, the two-seed out of the West, and Falgler College, the East's three-seed, on Saturday, Mar. 9 in the tournament's first semifinal game at 2:00 p.m.

The Peach Belt will provide live stats and a free live webcast of all the games from Thursday through Sunday. Additionally, Glory 1330 WGTJ will air all of North Georgia's games in the tournament. Games can be heard on the radio at AM-1330, online through the "Listen Live" link on the home page of the station's website, www.glory1330.com, and/or on any smart phone or tablet with the "Tune In Radio" application.

Following the matchup between North Georgia and Augusta State, Flagler College and Montevallo will tangle at 3:00 p.m. with Armstrong Atlantic and No. 1 Clayton State following at 5:00 p.m. Host-school Columbus State and USC Aiken will wrap up the first day of competition with a 7:00 p.m. game.

Follow all the action live at the official 2013 Peach Belt Conference Tournament site found HERE.