FLORENCE, S.C. – For the third time this season, the University of North Georgia men's basketball team ecplipsed the 100-point mark. This time, the Saints went on the road and claimed a 101-90 Peach Belt Conference cross division win over the Patriots of Francis Marion University Thursday night.
Entering Thursday's game, Francis Marion (9-11, 4-9 PBC) had won three of its last five games while North Georgia (14-8, 9-6 PBC) extends its current win streak to three games after leading from opening tip through the final buzzer.
North Georgia ended the game shooting a solid 56.7% (38-67) from the field with four players scoring in double figures while the Patriots went 31-67 (46.3%) from the field. The Saints also dominated the boards, out-rebounding FMU 44-27.
Junior forward Ishmael Hollis tied FMU's Dustin Jones with a game-high 24 points. Hollis finished the night shooting 9-15 from the field and 4-6 from the free throw line while collecting his third double-double of the season with 14 rebounds.
Lamar Richardson led the other trio of Saints in double-digit points with 20 that icluded a team-high four three-pointers. Scott Windom finished the 40-minute contest with 17 points and JC Ward collected 14 as both also collected seven rebounds.
Francis Marion, which hit a combined 21 three-pointers compared to the Saints' six, was led by Jones' 24 points to go along with Robert Carpenter's 19 points, Evrik Gary's 19 and Tyler Deihl's 11. Jones hit a game-high eight three-pointers and went 8-12 from beyond the three-point arc while Gary finished with five of his own.
After the Saints opened the game on a 10-0 run through the first two minutes, FMU returned the favor with nine unanswered points. North Georgia would end the half shooting 55.9% (19-34) from the field en route to a 47-44 advantage heading into the halftime intermission while the Patriots finished the opening stanza shooting 48.5% (16-33).
The second half saw more of the same as the Saints hit another 19 points while shooting 57.6% (19-33) from the field. North Georgia extended its lead out to 15 with 9:13 remaining in the game, but Francis Marion was able to cut the defecit back to single digits several times down the stretch.
The Saints will next head up into North Carolina where the University of North Carolina Pembroke awaits their arrival for a 3:30 p.m. game on Saturday, Feb. 16.