January 3, 2012

Saints Rally to Topple Clayton State 69-68 at the Buzzer

Contact: Steve Cunha,

MORROW, GA – The North Georgia men's basketball team erased an 11-point second half deficit to score a 69-68 come-from-behind victory against Clayton State on Tuesday evening at the Athletics & Fitness Center. 

The Saints (7-5, 2-0 PBC) improve to 2-0 in conference play for the first time since their first year in the league during the 2005-06 season. Both victories for the Saints have come by a single point.

The victory was the sixth straight for North Georgia against their in-state rival, with all the six of the victories coming by no more than six points. 

The two squads traded baskets early, before the Lakers went on 10-0 run capped by a layup by Teondre Williams giving his team a 16-10 lead.

The Saints clawed their way back to tie it at 23 when junior transfer Scott Windom made a layup with just over three minutes remaining in the opening half. 

The Lakers responded with baskets and took a 28-27 lead heading into the half when Bradley Turner made a layup and the ensuing free throw.

The Lakers came out firing in the second half, stretching their lead to as many as 11 when Williams made a jumper with just under 14 minutes left to play in the game. 

The Saints would respond with a 10-0 run of their own starting with a layup by Pat Moynihan and ending with a pair of Windom free throws with six minutes remaining.

The two teams went back and forth for the final minutes before Clarence Tillman made a jumper with under two minutes to play to give the Saints a 66-63 lead. 

North Georgia would hold that three-point lead until Tyrone Black threw down a two handed dunk to pull the Lakers within one with 37 seconds left to play.

After getting fouled, Windom responded by hitting two free throws to put the Saints back up by three. 

On the ensuing possession, Turner created space for himself and drove to the basket where he was fouled by Chaun Tinney. Turner responded by knocking down a pair at the charity stripe to pull the Lakers back within a basket.

The Lakers responded by fouling freshman Travis Core who made one of his two free throws. 

With the ball and down two, Clayton State's Anthony Salter drove past midcourt where he was fouled by Tinney with only a second remaining. Salter made the first, but his second bounced off the back rim and Windom brought it down to seal the victory.

Windom led the offensive attack, registering his fourth double-double of year pouring in a game-high 23 points and pulling down 11 boards.

Core and Robbie Goldsmith each played well off the bench for the Saints scoring 12 and four points respectively.

Clarence Tillman continued his strong play, scoring 13 points and grabbing eight boards.

The Lakers were led by Williams who scored 21, despite 6 of 18 shooting, and Salter added 20.

The Saints return to action on Saturday, January 7, when they travel to play Augusta State in search of their third straight conference win.