Newberry Hands North Georgia First Loss of Season
– The North Georgia men’s basketball team dropped their
first game of the year Saturday evening, shooting just 28-percent
from the field as Newberry College picked up their first win of the
year 69-52 over the Saints in non-conference action.
The Saints (2-1) were an abysmal 3-of-27 (11.1%) from three-point range and had no double-digit scorers in their first loss of the year. Kindall Butler, Bernard Rimmer, and Andrew Bennett led North Georgia with nine points apiece, while Butler was just short of a double-double with nine rebounds.
Newberry's defense was the star of the show, as the Saints were held to 22 points in the first half. North Georgia was averaging 100 points per game coming into the contest. However, Newberry did not run away with the game early. The scarlet and gray led, 6-2, in the first two minutes before starter Ray Robinson left the game with an injury. North Georgia surged to take the lead and did not rescind it until Bakinde's fastbreak three-point play off of a Huffor steal with 8:06 left in the half.
That play keyed a 10-2 run, giving Newberry a seven point advantage when Jeremee Davis made a breakaway layup with 5:10 to play. Newberry held North Georgia at arm's length and claimed its biggest lead of the half at the very end when Aaron Edwards sank a three-pointer from the corner just before time expired to give the scarlet and gray a 30-22 halftime lead.
Newberry limited North Georgia's scoring opportunities in the second half, as the Saints only connected on 10 field goals in the half on 35 shots. The hosts held a double-figure lead for the majority of the second half, but the Saints brought the lead down to eight points with 6:09 to play.
NC responded with five straight points on a pair of Huffor free throws and a Ryan Barnes three-pointer to make it a 13-point lead at the 4:58 mark. The Saints would not get closer than 11 points for the rest of the game, and Davis' free throw with 52 seconds to play gave Newberry its largest lead of the game at 67-49. Buck Reed made North Georgia's third three-pointer of the game, but Huffor's dunk in the final 25 seconds sealed the deal for Newberry.
North Georgia returns to action on Tuesday evening, hosting Lynn University in Memorial Hall with tip-off schedule for 7:00 p.m.