Cougars Claw Back Late, Rally To Defeat Saints
– The North Georgia men’s basketball team held a late
lead, but Columbus State University came from behind in the final
minutes to take down the Saints 72-69 Saturday evening in Memorial
Hall in Peach Belt Conference.
North Georgia falls to 12-9 overall on the season, dropping their third straight contest and moving to 7-4 in the Peach Belt Conference, while Columbus State improves to 11-9 overall on the season and 5-6 on the PBC’s West Division.
Scoring was hard to come by in the early going as a Reed Buck three-pointer with 10:59 remaining gave North Georgia a 15-12 advantage, their largest advantage of the opening half.
Columbus State went on a run late, leading by as many as seven points on a pair of free throws with 2:19 remaining before holding onto a six-point advantage at 32-26 heading into intermission.
In the second half, Columbus State opened up their biggest lead of the game in the opening minute, using a pair of free throws to take an eight-point advantage and would eventually lead 41-34 with 15:58 left in the game. North Georgia would take control from there, using an 11-0 run jump right back in front at 45-41, capped by a three-pointer from Carl Taylor with 12:51 showing on the clock.
The Saints extended their lead to many as eight points with 6:23 remaining, but Columbus would answer right back, using an 8-0 run to knot the score at 62-62 with just 3:18 left.
In the final minute, Columbus State led by as many as six points, using a pair of free throws from Lamar Williams with 35 seconds left to make it a 70-64 Cougar advantage. Carl Taylor made it a one-point game with a three-pointer with 14 seconds remaining, but the Saints would never get any closer as CSU would hit two free throws for the 72-69 victory.
Bernard Rimmer and Carl Taylor led North Georgia with 17 points apiece, while Tyler Norman finished with a season-high 11 points. Rimmer also recorded 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Williams and Chris Telesford both recorded 17 points for Columbus State, while Telesford added 10 rebounds for a double-double, and trio of other players had eight points.
North Georgia returns to action next Wednesday, hosting Francis Marion in another Peach Belt Conference matchup. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall.