AIKEN, SC – North Georgia College &
State University trailed by as many as 20 points in the second
half, but mounted a comeback down the stretch that came up just
short in a 75-70 loss to 7th-ranked USC Aiken Saturday evening in
Peach Belt Conference action.
The Pacers started the game with a flurry of offense and led it 12-2 when Commons hit a three at the 17:16 mark, giving him 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting. After the Saints closed to 13-5, another 12-2 run sparked by the USCA defense made it 25-7 with 12:58 on the clock.
The Saints refused to back down and closed the half well. Senior Lee Burrell knocked down a triple with 20 seconds left to cut the margin to 42-32 going into the break.
After a slow opening couple of minutes in the second half, an altercation after a Cordaryl Ballard fastbreak layup grabbed the attention of everyone in the arena. Anthony Rowe and Commons were each hit with a technical after an exchange, and Fears got a technical in the ensuing scuffle. The Saints’ Andre Morgan hit one of two free throws to make it 46-35.
As they did in the opening half, the Saints refused to go away, scoring seven unanswered points coming out of a media timeout. North Georgia cut the margin to single digits on a Xavier Trice jumper at the 4:59 mark and pulled to within four with under a minute remaining, but fell 75-70 to the Pacers
Trice and Andre Morgan scored 12 points apiece to lead North Georgia despite shooting a combined 10-for-28 from the field. The Saints as a team finished 26-for-70, including 5-for-22 from three.
North Georgia (12-9, 7-7 PBC) will return to action on Wednesday, February 13 at 7:30 pm for Spirit Night 2008 against Columbus State University.