February 22, 2010

Saints Lock Up Playoff Spot, Top UNCP 78-69

Box Score

PEMBROKE, NC – The North Georgia men’s basketball locked up a playoff spot in the upcoming PBC Tournament on Monday evening, taking down UNC Pembroke 78-69 at the English E. Jones Center in Peach Belt Conference action. 

North Georgia (14-11, 9-6 PBC) opened the game on a 14-3 run over the first two minutes to take a commanding lead in the early goings. UNCP (8-17, 4-12 PBC) eventually found its bearings but could not overcome the double-digit deficit, eventually losing by nine.

Four Saints scored in double figures with Bernard Rimmer leading the way with 22 points. Carl Taylor scored 18, Tyler Norman scored 15 and Andrew Bennett scored 12 as the four starters combined for 67 of North Georgia’s 78 points. Norman also recorded five assists directing the Saints’ offense.

Brandon Thomas posted a team-high 22 points with fellow Brave Marcus Heath adding 13. Shahmel Brackett tied a career-high with six assists on the night while George Blakeney pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.

After going on an 11-0 run to jump out to an early lead North Georgia took that 11-point advantage into halftime at 33-22. UNCP was able to cut the lead to six at 26-20 with a 3-pointer by Tyler Egli but the Saints would end the half much like they started it, outscoring the Braves 7-2 over the final 4:28 of the frame.

North Georgia kept the Braves at arm’s length throughout the second half, leading by as much as 15 three different times in the second half. Pembroke would cut the lead to single digits on several occasions over the final three minutes, but could never put a run together to threaten the Saints’ lead.

North Georgia returns to action on Wednesday evening, playing host to Clayton State in another Peach Belt Conference battle. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall.