DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Heading into the final two games of a four-game home stand, the University of North Georgia men's basketball team is preparing to play two of its biggest Peach Belt Conference West Division games of the season against Georgia Southwestern University and Clatyon State University.
The Saints will first face Georgia Southwestern at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24. That night is being dubbed "Residence Life Night" as well as "Student-Athlete Appreciation Night."
The Saints will then host Clayton State at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 for Homecoming. On Saturday, the Blue Ridge Rifles will perform between games and the Homecoming Court will be announced at half time of the men's game.
North Georgia (10-5, 5-3 PBC) went 2-1 last week as they earned the season-sweep over Georgia College on Thursday before taking down perennial conference power Augusta State University at home on Saturday. North Georgia then closed out its five-day, three-game stretch with an 85-79 loss at the hands of the University of South Carolina Aiken on Monday.
North Georgia enters the final stretch to the PBC Basketball Championships in firmly in third place in the PBC West Division. Only the top-four teams in each division will advance to the conference tournament held in Columbus, Ga.
The Saints are currently shooting 47.2% from the field and 38.3% from three-point range and are currently 10th in the nation in scoring offense with 85.4 points per game. After making 30 three-pointers over the last three games, the Saints sit fourth in the nation with 10.5 three-pointers per game for the season.
Three players are averaging double-digit points for North Georgia led by Ishmael Hollis' 16.7 which has him currently 10th in the conference. The junior forward is currently fifth in the nation and second in the league with a 47.7% completion percentage from three-point range and leads the team with 7.2 rebounds per game. The last time Hollis saw the Lakers, he drilled five three-pointers en route to scoring 25 points.
2012 All-PBC selection Scott Windom has been the first player to come off the bench and he has been helping the Saints with 14.5 points per game and 5.9 boards per contest while shooting 50% from the field for the season.
Lamar Richardson averages 13.5 points and 3.6 three-pointers per game. His three-pointers per game has him currently fourth in the nation and includes 11 in the last three games, including six against Augusta State Saturday night.
Georgia Southwestern (7-9, 3-6 PBC) is currently tied with Clayton State and Columbus Sate University (8-8, 3-6 PBC) for fourth in the division heading into this week's games. They have lost three in a row and seven of their last 10 while shooting 46.2% from the field.
The Hurricanes are led in scoring by Jamon Hawkins' 13.1 points and 2.1 three-pointers per game. The junior guard shoots 44.8% from the field while Alan Arnett and Matt Shaw both average 11.9 points per game. Milos Kleut leads the team with 5.2 rebounds per game.
Clayton State (7-9, 3-6 PBC) is in the midst of a similar three-game losing skid. They last won on Jan. 12 when they defeated North Georgia 85-80 at home in Morrow. Since that win, the Lakers have lost by an average of nine points per game while shooting 46% from the field.
Omari Murray leads the Lakers with 14.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. The junior forward shoots 61.8% from the field in 32.8 minutes of work, but it was second-leading scorer Tony Dukes who had a career night against the Saints earlier this season when he scored 21 points to lead five Lakers in double-digit scoring. Dukes is currently averaging 10.9 points per game.
As always, all North Georgia's home basketball games can be followed live via live stats and a free live webcast featuring Craig Corbin and Mike Davenport located on the schedule pages on www.SaintsSports.com. Also, Glory 1330 WGTJ Radio will continue to broadcast live during games with Mike Wofford and Drew Harris on the call. They can also be followed at www.glory1330.com or through the Tune in Radio app.