CLEVELAND, GA – The North Georgia women's basketball team traveled to nearby Truett-McConnell College on Tuesday evening and jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, devouring the Bears 56-44 at the TMC Gymnasium in non-conference action.
The Lady Saints stretch their winning streak to four games, improving to 5-1 on the season, while Truett-McConnell falls to 1-5 on the season.
The Bears kept the game close in the early going as Jasmin Butler knocked down a jumper with 11:31 remaining in the half to close the North Georgia lead to just four at 17-13. Lady Saints responded from there with a 9-0 run, capped by a layup from Jessica Howard to give North Georgia a 13-point advantage with 6:39 to play in the half.
Truett-McConnell came back in the final minutes of the opening period, capitalizing on a pair of turnovers cutting the lead to four on a three-point play the old fashioned way with 1:48 remaining, but Kari McCann and Lindsey Moss hit back-to-back buckets in the final minute to give North Georgia a nine-point lead heading into intermission.
The Lady Saints were never able to pull away in the second half, holding a double-digit lead most of the period but never leading by more than 14 points, a margin they held at the 1:56 mark when Meredith Montgomery hit a running layup off the glass to give North Georgia a 56-42 lead.
Janyce Ealey led the Lady Saints with 16 points on 6-12 shooting from the field and a 4-for-4 performance from the free throw line. Sarah Stinson was the only other North Georgia player in double figures, tallying 12 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. Bianca O-Neal was on fire in the first half, dishing out all seven of her assists while recording three steals in 38 minutes of action.
Jasmin Butler anchored the Truett-McConnell offense, dropping 21 points, including a perfect 7-for-7 streak from the charity stripe, while hitting 7-of-15 field goals and grabbing five steals. Symone Hampton added 11 points, but turned the ball over eight times for the Bears.
The Lady Saints shot 38-percent from the field, 70-percent from the free throw line, but struggled from long range, hitting just 2-of-13 three-pointers, good for 15-percent on the night.
The Lady Saints return to action over the weekend, welcoming a trio of teams to town for the Chick-fil-A Thanksgiving Classic. North Georgia will battle St. Augustine on Friday evening, before taking on Trevecca Nazarene on Saturday afternoon. Peach Belt member Georgia College will also take part in the four-game event that can be seen in its entirety at www.SaintsSports.com.