DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The University of North Georgia men's basketball team claimed its second-straight win Saturday night, enacting revenge on a pesky Columbus State University team with a final score of 91-64 inside Memorial Hall Gymnasium.
The last time the Saints (13-8, 8-6 PBC) and Cougars (10-12, 5-10 PBC) met, it was Columbus State claiming a 75-61 victory at home. Saturday night's 27-point victory more than made up for it and set the Saints up well for a two-game road swing next week.
North Georgia ended the game with 12 three-pointers while shooting 51.6% (32-62) from the field. It was the most three-pointers the Saints have scored since netting 13 in a 67-57 road win over Geogia College on January 17 and was the best shooting performance from three-point range for the Saints since connecting on 60% (12-20) in a 93-85 win at Limestone back in December.
The Saints were able to convert 17 Columbus State turnovers into 29 points and out-rebounded the Cougars 40-26.
Junior guard Lamar Richardson led all scorers with his season-high 26 points, including five treys in the first half. Richardson ended the night shooting 9-11 from the field and 6-7 from three-point range while also bringing down eight defensive rebounds.
Scott Windom ended the night with 18 points off a 7-11 performance from the field and chipped in two more treys while Travis Core finished with 13 points. Core also had two three-pointers and went 4-6 from the field and 3-3 from the charity stripe.
Columbus State shot well-enough to win had the Saints not been so efficient from the field. The Cougars ended the 40 minutes shooting 42.4% (25-59) from the field and 42.3% (11-26) from three-point range.
Idell Bell led the way for Columbus State with 24 points off an 8-11 outing. He led all players with seven three-pointers, including several from NBA range.
Rory Miller was the next-highest scorer for the Cougars with 10 points, but he shot just 4-13 from the field.
The Saints led from the opening tip all the way through to the final buzzer, slowly working the ball around to find the open man. The last time Columbus State threatened to take the lead was just four minutes into the game with Jermaine Morgan scored two free throws to tie the score at 6-all.
From there, the Saints scored four unanswered points and went on a 9-3 run over the next five minutes to open the lead up before wrapping up the first half with a 52-36 lead.
North Georgia will now hit the road for a pair of cross division matchups. The Saints will first travel to Florence, S.C. to take on the Patriots of Francis Marion University at 7:30 p.m. on Valentine's Day, Thursday, Feb. 14. They will then head up into North Carolina to Pembroke for a 3:30 p.m. game against the University of North Carolina Pembroke on Saturday, Feb. 16.