MORROW, GA – The North Georgia women's basketball team opened the season on Friday evening at the Chick-Fil-A Southeast Region Challenge and used a trio of late free throws to top Brevard College 61-58 on the campus of Clayton State University.
North Georgia comes out on top in their season opener, improving to 1-0 on the year, while Brevard College drops the opening game of the classic and the season to fall to 0-1.
With time running down to one minute in regulation and the Tornadoes leading by a point, Lindsey Moss lined up for a three pointer that came off to the rim to Janyce Ealey who was fouled, sending the sophomore to the line for a pair of free throws. Ealey promptly stepped the line and drained both free attempts to give North Georgia a one-point advantage with 1:11 remaining.
The Lady Saints' defense then clamped down on Brevard in the final minute, stopping the Tornadoes on consecutive possessions before Brevard was forced to foul Moss with nine seconds remaining. The transfer, playing in her first game for North Georgia, connected on both free throws to send her team to a season-opening 61-58 victory.
In the early going, the Tornados were able to jump out to a 7-0 lead thanks to two baskets from Candice Fritz and a three-pointer hit by Brevard's Amber Roberts.
North Georgia bounced back however, using a Tiffany Marlow three-pointer midway through the half to make it a one-point Tornado lead at 8-7, before seizing a 25-24 advantage at intermission.
The Lady Saints never pulled away in the second half with their largest lead stretching to just six points on two different occasions, but clutch free throw shooting was the difference as head coach Buffie Burson's squad hit 12 of their 15 second-half foul shots to sneak away with the victory.
Ealey led all scorers with 12 points, while Moss added 11 points, six rebounds, and hit five of six free throws. Jessica Howard led all players with 14 rebounds, but the team struggled behind the arc, shooting just 22-percent (6-27) from long range.
For Brevard, Fritz and Lindsay Brendle led the way offensively scoring 10 points a piece. Brendle was able to hit six of eight from the free throw line while Fritz shot 60% from the field.
North Georgia returns to action on Saturday afternoon in the third game of the Chick-Fil-A Southeast Region Challenge, opposing Catawba College on the campus of Clayton State with top-off scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at the Athletics and Fitness Center.