January 20, 2010

Saints Weather Hurricanes in front of Sellout Crowd

Box Score

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia men’s basketball team continued to stay one of the hottest teams in the league Wednesday evening, holding on down the stretch to defeat Georgia Southwestern 65-61 in front of a sellout crowd in Memorial Hall in Peach Belt Conference action.

The Saints improve to 10-6 overall on the year, picking up their fifth straight victory, while moving to 5-1 in the Peach Belt Conference. The Hurricanes fall to 5-10 overall on the season and 1-5 in league action.

North Georgia jumped out of the gate in the opening minutes with four straight points as Carl Taylor and Michael Moynihan knocked down jumpers to give the Saints a 4-0 advantage. GSW would respond with a 12-3 run over the next seven minutes capped by a pair of free throws from Chris Rawls to give the hurricanes a 12-7 advantage.

Georgia Southwestern led by as many as eight points in the opening half, but the Saints used a 12-0 run to erase the deficit and take a four-point lead before Evan Mobley’s half court buzzer three-pointer gave the Hurricanes a one-point lead at 31-30 heading into intermission.

The Hurricanes opened the second half with a layup to take a three-point lead, but the Saints came right back with an 8-0 run to jump out to a five-point lead at 38-33.  Over the next eight minutes, North Georgia would never relinquish the lead, but GSW stayed close, never letting the lead stretch over five points, a margin the Saints held at three different points.

At the 5:42 mark, Michael Moynihan gave the Saints their largest lead of the game with a running layup as North Georgia extended their lead to six. With under a minute to play and the Hurricanes back to within two points, Michael Moynihan drove down the lane and found a wide open Kendall Butler to push the lead back up to four at 63-59.

Following a pair of free throws by GSW to cut the lead right back to two, Michael Moynihan ran the clock down and was fouled with 16 seconds remaining, walking to the free throw line and hitting both shots, which turned out to be the final points of the game as the Saints escaped with the four-point victory.

Rimmer led the Saints with a team-high 18 points and seven rebounds, while Andrew Bennett tallied 12 points and Michael Moynihan was the only other double figure scorer for the Saints with 10 points while adding four assists.

Chris Rawls recorded the game’s only double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Evan Mobley added 18 points and Marcus Scott tallied 11 points.

North Georgia shot 45.6 percent from the field, 25 percent from long range, and 76.9 percent from the free throw line, while the hurricanes were 45.8 percent from the floor, 46.2 percent from behind the arc, and 76.9 percent from the charity stripe.

North Georgia returns to action on Saturday evening, traveling to Clayton State University for an in-state showdown with the Lakers. Tip-off at the Athletics and Fitness Center is set for 7:30 p.m.