Game featured showdown of PBC point leaders
DAHLONEGA, Ga. - North Georgia College & State University got a huge lift from the PBC scoring leader as Syretha Marble scored a game-high 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Lady Saints past Lander University 97-93 Monday night in Memorial Hall.
North Georgia improves to 13-6 overall and 6-6 in the PBC, while Lander drops to 14-8, 8-4. In a battle for the lead in the Peach Belt scoring title, Syretha Marble took charge, dropping 21 points and pulling down 11 rebounds in the first half alone, as her counterpart, Tiara Good had a half of her own, scoring 18 on 5-9 shooting from behind the arc.
The Lady Saints came on fire in the first half, running out to a 13-6 lead on a layup from Syretha Marble with 16:17 remaining in the half. Marbles' stellar play led the Lady Saints to a big first half lead, and a three-pointer from Lindsey Kitchens on a pass from Brooke Baker with 1:27 until the break gave North Georgia a 16-point lead at 58-42, their largest lead of the game. A pair of three-pointers from the Lady Bearcats' Good and LaShonda Chiles in final minute cut the Lady Saints' lead to just eight points for a 58-50 halftime score.
The game quickly changed in the second half as Lander jumped back into the game and cut North Georgia's lead to just five points four minutes into the half. The Lady Saints countered with a run of their own and pushed the lead back to 13 at 81-68 on a fast-break layup from Krystyn Young with 6:58 remaining in the contest. The Lady Bearcats had one run left, and pulled to within a bucket at 93-91, the closest the had been since a minute into the contest when the score was tied 2-2. Kitchens was clutch down the stretch for the Lady Saints, sealing the 97-93 win with four straight free throws in the final 18 seconds.
Marble finished with a game-high 32 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Saints, while Megan Huffman returned from a mid-game injury to drain a three-pointer late in the game and add 19 points. Kitchens, Kourtney Singleton, and Rachael Jolley all scored in double-digits for the Lady Saints who had their highest point total of the season.
Chiles and Good had 25 and 24 points respectively for the Lady Bearcats, while Stephanie Ponds pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.
North Georgia will host Georgia College & State University on Wednesday February 4, for a 5:30 p.m. Peach Belt Conference match-up. Memorial Hall will host "White Out GCSU" on Wednesday as students and fans support the Saints by wearing white.