Lander Pulls Away From Nighthawks Late For 95-86 Peach Belt Victory
GREENWOOD, South Carolina – (UNGAthletics.com) – The University of North Georgia men's basketball team dropped its second straight Peach Belt Conference game on Saturday afternoon by a 95-86 score to the hosting Bobcats of Lander University at LU's Horne Arena. Travis Core led the Nighthawks with 19 points and 9 assists while Shaquan Cantrell and Ishmael Hollis both poured in 15 points individually.
The Nighthawks (11-12, 8-9 PBC) started the game on fire while establishing a 12-0 lead, meanwhile Lander (16-10, 10-7 PBC) was unable to connect on their first five shots. The Bobcats were eventually able to overcome the deficit by halftime and they went into the intermission with a two point lead. Lander's Mario Pendarvis gave the Bobcats their first lead of the game with 3:08 remaining in the first half as he converted on a shot in the paint.
Despite pushing the lead to as much as eleven, UNG kept hanging around and with 2:32 remaining in the game a Hollis break away score would close the gap to an 80-75 score. Lander secured the game down the stretch with several made free throws, a steal, and an offensive rebound which helped move the clock to their advantage.
Michael Panaggio and Jereal Smith both made a pair of free throws to put the game away with just over twenty seconds remaining. Panaggio and Smith both led starters with 20 points apiece while Dermaine Smith went for 22 points and 9 rebounds off the bench, leading the Bobcats in both categories.
Both teams were identical shooting from the field at a 53.3% clip while Lander held a very slim advantage in the rebounding department -- out-rebounding the Nighthawks 32-31. The story and key to the game was the free throw line where Lander connected on 24-33 (73%) compared to UNG's 11-17 (68%).
North Georgia will return to action on February 26th at 7:30 as the Nighthawks will welcome Columbus State University to Memorial Hall Gym, as they continue their PBC slate. The game is billed as UNG's Spirit Night and will feature a reveal for a local Make-A-Wish child.
Story By: Chris Natsch, UNG Athletic Communications Student Assistant