– The North Georgia men’s basketball team picked up
right where they left off two weeks ago, using pressure defense and
timely scoring to win their second straight, defeating Newberry
College 73-53 Wednesday evening in non-conference action.
North Georgia moved back to the .500 mark for the first time in nearly a month, improving to 5-5 on the season, while Newberry drops their fifth road game of the year, falling to 5-7 on the season.
The Saints jumped off the deck quickly in the early going, using a three-pointer by Michael Moynihan and a fast break dunk by Brody Langston in the first minute to take their first lead of the game at 5-3 at the 19:00 minute mark of the first period.
Newberry held their largest lead of the half with 12:19 remaining, using back-to-back jumpers from Danny Huffor and Jeremee Davis to give the scarlet and grey a four-point advantage at 16-12.
The Saints would then go an 8-0 run over the next 70 seconds to take the lead right back as Carl Taylor knocked down a three-pointer to start the run, and ended the 8-0 spurt with three straight free throws to give North Georgia a four-point lead at 20-16 with 11:05 remaining until intermission.
North Georgia would lead by as many as 10 points at three different times in the first half, a margin that turned out to be the halftime lead for the Saints.
Newberry came out in the second half and quickly trimmed the Saints’ lead to just three points with a 13-6 run, before knotting the score at 45-45 at the 11:22 mark, the only tie of the second half.
North Georgia responded with a 12-2 run, capped by a layup from Langston at the 7:20 mark to give the Saints an eight-point lead at 57-49. Chris Faulkner’s Saints continued to extend their lead over the final three minutes to capture the 20-point victory. The Saints’ pressure defense down the stretch held Newberry scoreless over the final 5:56 to give North Georgia their second straight victory.
Michael Moynihan led all scorers with 17 points, going 5-13 from the field and a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line, while sharpshooter Carl Taylor finished with 15 points on a 4-7 performance from the field, including a pair of three-pointers.
Keldrick Coleman was the only other North Georgia player in double figures, coming off the bench to record 13 points and four rebounds, including three offensive boards, while recording a trio of steals. Bernard Rimmer came up a point shy of a double-double, scoring nine points while pulling down a game-high 11 rebound.
Aaron Edwards was one of two Newberry players in double figures, scoring 12 points on 5-7 shooting from the field, while Huffor added 10 points in 32 minutes of action.
North Georgia shot 45 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from behind the arc, and 78.9 percent from the free throw line, while Newberry was 39.1 percent from the floor, 23.5 percent from long range, and just 61.9 percent from the charity stripe.
The scarlet and grey committed 20 turnovers while the Saints turned the ball over just 11 times and recorded 10 steals to just three for Newberry. Both teams pulled down 23 defensive rebounds, while North Georgia held a 13-9 advantage on the offensive boards.
The Saints return to action on Monday, January 4, hosting 3rd-ranked Augusta State University for an in-state Peach Belt Conference showdown and North Georgia’s league opener.
Last season in Memorial Hall, the Saints used a 5-0 run in the final seconds to force overtime against the Jaguars before Augusta State, ranked 7th in the country at the team, held on in double overtime for the 107-100 victory. North Georgia is 2-5 all-time against the Jaguars.