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DAHLONEGA, GA – The Saints led for all but 15 seconds of the entire game and fell down the stretch to Young Harris, 87-85, in non-conference action Saturday afternoon in Memorial Hall.
North Georgia (7-8) was seemingly in control the entire game against the future Peach Belt Conference members, but could not hold off the Mountain Lions and ultimately lost for a second time this season against Young Harris.
Clarence Tillman looked like his old self against the Mountain Lions, scoring a game-high 30 points. Tillman finished a rebound shy of a double-double and converted on 13 of 15 free throw attempts.
The Saints held a 13-point lead going into the half and led by as many as 17 in the first period.
The junior Scott Windom had another fantastic game, finishing with 21 points, including two three-pointers. Windom also grabbed seven rebounds.
Young Harris (12-2) outscored the host Saints by 15 in the second half to come away with another road victory.
The Mountain Lions saw four players reach double figures and were led by Vince Martin with 29 points.
Frank Adams, Bryson Robertson and Steve Viterbo all finished in double-figures as well.
Although North Georgia outrebounded Young Harris 46-35, they did not grab enough down the stretch of the game to earn a split with the visiting team.
Elijah Smith led all players in rebounds with 14. Smith finished with seven points along with a pair of blocks.
After shooting very poorly against UNC Pembroke on Thursday night, the Saints shot 78.8 percent (26-33) from the free throw line.
Having been swept by Young Harris this year, North Georgia will have plenty of opportunities against the Mountain Lions in the future.
Young Harris will join the Peach Belt Conference season next season and begin playing North Georgia twice a year as in the league's west division.
North Georgia returns to conference play next Monday when they welcome in Francis Marion.
The game will be part of student-athlete appreciation night and the North Georgia softball team will also be honored at halftime of the men's game by receiving their College World Series rings.
Tip-off against the Patriots starts with the women tipping at 5:30 PM and the men following at 7:30 PM.