YOUNG HARRIS, GA – The North Georgia women's basketball team scored early and often on Monday evening as Young Harris was rudely awakened in their program's first game, falling 64-39 at the YHC Recreation Center in non-conference action.
The Lady Saints get back on track, improving to 2-1 on the year, while the Mountain Lions drop their program's opening game, falling to 0-1 on the young season.
The Lady Saints opened the game on a 5-0 run as Jessica Howard knocked down the game's first bucket and Lindsey Moss followed and drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to extend the lead to five points.
North Georgia extended their lead to double digits as Janyce Ealey came off the bench and scored seven points in two minutes, giving the Lady Saints a 13-point edge at 22-9 with 10:18 remaining in the half.
The seven points by Ealey was part of a 12-0 North Georgia run, propelling the Lady Saints to a 22-point lead at 31-9 with just over five minutes remaining until intermission.
Young Harris responded down the stretch, going on a 7-0 run of their own and pulling to within 15 points in the final minute, but Meredith Montgomery hit a running layup with 35 seconds on the clock to give the Lady Saints a 33-16 edge at the break.
North Georgia continued to extend the lead in the second half, opening the period on an 11-3 run before taking their largest lead of the game at 31-points, making it 52-21 with 10:21 remaining.
The Mountain Lions cut the lead to 21 on a Lauren Smith jumper with 6:04 remaining, but that would be as close as Young Harris would get as North Georgia cruised in the final minutes to a 25-point win.
North Georgia shot 45-percent from the field, while the Mountain Lions were just 32-percent from the field, and the Lady Saints had 35 points off the bench to 10 for Young Harris. The game was decided in the paint as North Georgia scored half of their 64 points in the paint, and tallied 24 more points on fast breaks.
Ealey led all scorers with 21 points, while Sarah Stinson added eight points and Jessica trice tallied seven. Nikki Winn led Young Harris with 15 points, while Miata Askew was the only other player in double figures with 10 points on 4-13 shooting from the field.
The Lady Saints return to action over the weekend, hosting the Chick-fil-A Tip-Off Classic and welcoming Clayton State, Lynn University, and Chowan to town for the four-game tournament. North Georgia will oppose Chowan Friday evening at 6:00 p.m., before taking on Lynn University Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in the final game of the classic.