– The North Georgia men’s basketball team picked up one
of their biggest victories of the year on Wednesday evening, using
a 15-0 second-half run to take down Montevallo 76-73 in a key Peach
Belt Conference West Division showdown in Memorial Hall.
The Saints say goodbye to a four-game skid, improving to 13-10 overall and 8-5 in the Peach Belt Conference, while the Falcons remain a game ahead of North Georgia in the standings as they fall to 19-5 on the year and 9-5 in the league.
Montevallo took an early lead on the Saints, using a Freddy Little three-pointer with 12:54 remaining to give the Falcons a seven-point lead at 17-10. The Falcons took their first double-digit lead of the half just over a minute later as Little hit another three-pointer, giving the Falcons an 11-point edge at 26-12.
The Falcons led by as many as 14 points in the first half before Carl Taylor caught fire and hit a pair of jumpers to pull the Saints to within 11 points at 47-36 heading into intermission. Montevallo drained 10 first-half three-pointers as Little was 5-11 from long range with 16 first-half points.
North Georgia finally cut the Montevallo lead under 10 points for the first time in the second half as Pat Moynihan was fouled and hit a pair of free throws, making it a 62-54 game with 11:59 remaining.
The Falcon lead continued to dwindle as the Saints used a 15-0 run as the crowd erupted to a trio of three-pointers and a breakaway slam from Bernard Rimmer to give North Georgia their largest lead of the game at 73-70 with 3:55 remaining.
After holding the Falcons scoreless for nearly nine minutes, Montevallo hit three free throws to pull to within two points, but Rimmer hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to put the Saints back up by five with 1:19 remaining.
After Montevallo fouled and North Georgia missed the front end of a one-and-one, the Falcons found themselves with the ball down 76-73 with just 19.3 seconds remaining. After running the clock down to seven seconds unable to get off a shot, the Falcons called timeout once again to draw up a play.
Little was given the ball at the top of the key as Keldrick Coleman knocked it loose only to have it end up in Little’s hands again as the guard threw up a buzzer three-pointer that came up short, giving North Georgia a come-from-behind victory.
Carl Taylor led the Saints with 15 points, while Bernard Rimmer added 14, Andrew Bennett tallied 10, and freshman Chase Anderson posted a career high with 11 points.
Freddy Little led all scorers with 21 points on 6-17 from long range, while Tauras Dortch added 15 and Mark Plaza chipped in 14 in a losing effort.
North Georgia returns to action on Saturday afternoon, traveling to in-state rival Georgia Southwestern for another Peach Belt Conference contest. Tip-off is slated for 4:30 p.m. in the Storm Dome.