MONTEVALLO, Ala. – The University of North Georgia men's basketball team had five players finish in double figures Saturday afternoon led by JC Ward's 17 points, but it was not enough to knock off the University of Montevallo on the road as the Falcons were able to hold on for an 83-79 Peach Belt Conference West Division win inside BankTrust Arena.
The Saints (11-8, 6-6 PBC) suffered their third loss in a row while the Falcons (14-6, 10-3 PBC) avoided a second loss for the week after seeing a five-game streak come to an end on the road at the hands of Young Harris College Thursday night.
North Georgia shot well enough to win from the field, connecting on 47.5% (28-59) from the field, but Montevallo managed to hit 26 of their 50 attempts (52%) in the win. The difference maker was the Falcons' eight three-pointers compared to three by the Saints. The Saints did dominate the boards as they out-rebounded the Falcons 38-25 and scored 36 points inside the paint.
Ward bested his previous season-high for points in the loss as he went 7-8 from the field and 3-3 from the free throw line while also bringing down five boards.
Fellow starters Ishmael Hollis and Corey Green both also finished in double-digits with 13 and 10 points respectively. Green led the Saints off the glass with six rebounds while Hollis matched Ward with five.
Pat Moynihan and Robby Goldsmith were the final two Saints to finish in double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively. Moynihan went 3-6 from the field and 5-6 from the charity stripe while Goldsmith went 4-6.
Montevallo, which entered the game second in the nation in field goal percentage, was led by Ryan May's 21 points off a 7-10 effort. May and fellow guard Jonas Brown recorded all eight treys for the Falcons with four each. Brown finished the game with 13 points.
Through the first two minutes of play, Montevallo opened an 11-2 lead before the Saints were able to score five straight points to keep themselves in the game. The Falcons flirted with a double-digit lead several times in the contest, but North Georgia kept things close despite a 46-35 Montevallo advantage at the halftime break.
In the second half, the Saints were able to pull within two points, 63-61 when Hollis made one of his two free throw attempts with 9:55 remaining, and Green knotted the score at 65-65 with 7:30 remaining. But Montevallo was able to build up enough of a lead from there to secure the win.
North Georgia has one more road game on Thursday, Feb. 7 against Young Harris before returning home on Saturday, Feb. 9 for a contest against Columbus State University. Thursday's game will tip off at 7:30 p.m.