November 19, 2012

Weekly Athletics Release 13 – Monday, November 19, 2012

Women’s Soccer

The North Georgia College & State University women's soccer team has enjoyed a great run of success the past four seasons that has seen the program achieve a record of 55-18-6. Three of the players who have helped the program achieve that record, Cicely TaliaferroTaylor Lee and Kelly Penston, were recognized Monday as members of the 2012 Daktronics All-Southeast Region teams.

Taliaferro was named a first team selection and is up for consideration for All-Amerca honors while Lee and Penston were named to the second team. 

In total, 14 players from the Peach Belt Conference were named as either first or second team nominations with Armstrong Atlantic State University's Morgan Mitchell earning Southeast Region Player of the Year honors. Columbus State University had the most players named to the two squads with six – four first team and two second team selections.

Taliaferro is a sophomore midfielder who started all 22 games for the Saints this season.  She finished the year tied for third on the team with nine goals that, when coupled with four assists, gave her 22 points which was good enough for fourth on the team. 

An All-Peach Belt Conference Second Team selection this season, Taliaferro scored the game-winner in the Saints' season finale against USC Aiken. For the season, she took 41 shots with 27 being on goal.

Lee, a graduating senior from McDonough, Ga., is a two-time Peach Belt Conference All-Tournament selection who led the team this season with 10 assists – good enough for second-most assists recorded in a single season in school history. It is the second season in a row that she has led the team in the category and her 17 career assists leaves her second all-time in school history for the category.

Earlier this month, Lee was named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-District 3 team and is also a two-time PBC All-Academic selection. 

Penston joins former women's soccer great Casey Smith as the only two players in North Georgia's NCAA era to earn multiple all-region plaudits as she was also named to the 2011 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Southeast Region Second Team. Smith was a three-time all-region selection. 

A redshirt junior from Suwanne, Ga., Penston is a three-time All-Peach Belt Conference selection, including being named to the first team in 2012. She was also named to the PBC's Preseason All-Conference team prior to this season.

In her four years with the program, Penston has ascended to second all-time in school history with 58 points and 24 goals. She is just 12 points shy of first place and needs just six goals to tie first place in that category. Her 12 goals this season is also tied for second all-time while her 28 points is the third-best point total in a single season. 


Men’s Basketball (3-0)

Last week (1-0): vs. Newberry (W, 91-85)

This week: Away vs. Anderson (11/20 – 7:00 p.m.);

                   Home vs. Belmont Abbey (11/24 – 4:00 p.m.)

The North Georgia College & State University men's basketball team is off to a solid start as they sit 3-0 heading into this week's two games against the Anderson University Trojans and Belmont Abbey College's Crusaders. The Saints will start their week off by traveling to Anderson, S.C. on Tuesday, Nov. 20 for a 7:00 p.m. game before hosting the Crusaders on Saturday, Nov. 24 in a 4:00 p.m. contest. 

North Georgia is 3-2 all-time against Anderson and is 0-2 against Belmont Abbey. Heading into Saturday's home game against Belmont Abbey, the Saints are 21-5 at home against out of conference opponents since joining the NCAA Division II ranks.

Through the first three games, North Georgia is shooting 49.5% from the field including 42.6% from three-point range and the Saints have our-rebounded their opponents 127-103 so far. 

Junior transfer Ishmael Hollis has led the Saints through the first three games of the season with 24.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. He also has six steals and three blocks on the season while shooting 55.3% from the field. He leads the team with 13 three-pointers. 

Fellow transfers Lamar Richardson and JC Ward are also making a splash as they have also averaged double-digit point totals through the first three games while Chris Tanzy averages 8.0 assists per game. Richardson currently averages 13.0 points per contest while Ward has been good for 10.0 points per game thus far.

Highlighting the returners for the Saints is Scott Windom who averages 15.0 points per game and 7.7 rebounds. The 2012 All-Peach Belt Conference selection has started just one game so far for North Georgia but is averaging 25 minutes per outing.

The Trojans of Anderson are 1-1 on the season after defeating the No. 11 University of Montevallo Falcons 69-65 this past Saturday, but lost their season-opener 87-72 to Erskine College.

The Trojans are shooting 45.8% from the field led by Denzail Jones' 21.0 points per game and 44.8% shooting performance. Just behind him, Chandler Hash averages 13.5 while CJ Gleaton leads the team with 11 rebounds and six assists.

The Crusaders of Belmont Abbey are currently 3-1 but have a game against Tusculum College coming up on Wednesday, Nov. 21 before meeting the Saints in Dahlonega on Saturday.

The Crusaders have shot 47.5% from the field through their first four games while their opponents are hitting on just .419 of their looks from the field.

Belmont Abbey is led by Tyshawn Good's 21.8 points per game as well as Terrone Sheffrey's 13.3, Jay council's 11.5. Darryl Durham averages 8.8 rebounds for the season and has three blocks to lead the team.


Women’s Basketball (1-1)

Last week (1-1): vs. Carson-Newman (L, 78-66); vs. West Florida (W, 83-79)

This week: Away vs. Florida Southern (11/23 – 1:00 p.m., Eckerd Thanksgiving Classic)

                   Away vs. Eckerd (11/24 – 3:00 p.m., Eckerd Thanksgiving Classic) 

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 improved 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.