MORROW, Ga. – Despite holding a 13-point lead at one point in the first half, the University of North Georgia men's basketball team was unable to defeat Clayton State University on the road Saturday night as the Lakers came back to record an 85-80 victory over the Saints off a 51% shooting performance.
The Lakers (7-6, 3-3 PBC) used a 61.5% (16-26) shooting performance in the second half to cruise to the victory while the Saints (8-4, 3-2 PBC) tried furiously tried to hold off their attack, but ultimately fell for the second game in a row.
North Georgia shot a respectable 44.3% (27-61) from the field in the game including going 11-27 (.407) from three-point range. Ishmael Hollis and Lamar Richardson were back to their usual form as they both drilled five treys.
Hollis led all players with 25 points off a 7-9 outing. The junior transfer went 5-6 from three-point range, 6-7 from the charity stripe and added six rebounds while Richardson added 15 points.
The Lakers ended the game having hit 27 of their 53 attempts including going an impressive 10-19 (.526) from three-point range.
Tony Dukes led a quintet of Laker players in double-digit points with 21 points off a 6-10 outing. He matched Hollis and Richardson with a game-high five three-pointers.
Charles Shedrick chipped in 18 points, Omari Murray added 13 and Sidarius Henry and Craig Wong each gave Clayton State 10 points in the five-point win.
The first half belonged to the Saints who shot 44.1% (15-34) and took a 39-32 lead into halftime despite leading by as many as 13 at one point; however, the rest of the game would belong to the home team as the Lakers appeared to do no wrong in the second half.
With 8:14 remaining in the game, the Lakers retook the lead for good off one a three-pointer by Henry and held off a furious late-game charge by the Saints to secure the win.
The Saints will now turn their focus to another road game, this time a rematch against Georgia College in Milledgeville, Ga. on Thursday, Jan. 17 at 5:30 p.m. before returning back to Dahlonega for a four-game home stand.