AUGUSTA, GA – The North Georgia women's basketball team used sharp shooting and stellar defense to lead from wire-to-wire and take down Augusta State University 81-69 on the road Monday evening in the Lady Saints' Peach Belt Conference opener.
The Lady Saints win their fourth straight, improving to 10-2 on the year and 1-0 in the Peach Belt Conference, while the Jaguars' struggles continue in league action, falling to 6-4 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
The Lady Saints opened the game on fire as Janyce Ealey took over and scored five of the game's first nine points to give North Georgia a 7-2 lead, capped by a three-point play the old fashioned way at the 17:50 mark.
Augusta State pulled even with 11:33 remaining in the half as Briyana Evans knocked down a free throw to knot the score at 17-17, but the Lady Saints responded and went on a 17-6 run over the next minutes, capped by a three-pointer from Jessica Trice at the 5:24 mark to give North Georgia their first double-digit lead of the contest.
The Lady Saints extended their lead to as many as 18 in the first half as Brooke Garmon sank a pair of free throws with 1:24 remaining in the half, but the Jaguars notched a pair of three-pointers in the final minute, and Jarquella got a running jumper to fall at the buzzer, cutting the North Georgia lead to 48-36 at intermission.
North Georgia saw their lead dwindle to as few as eight points at the 17:16 mark of the second half, but the Lady Saints answered with a 7-0 run, capped by a pair of free throws from Sarah Stinson to push the lead right back to 15.
The Jaguars cut the lead down to single digits one more time with 13:46 to play, but North Georgia responded once again, this time extending the lead to 17 and never looking back. The Lady Saints led by as many as 19 points with 4:31 remaining and held on down the stretch for the 12-point victory.
Stinson led all scorers with 25 points, while adding 13 rebounds for a double-double, while Lindsey Moss added a double-double of her own with 18 points 10 rebounds. Jessica Trice and Ealey added 10 points apiece, while Garmon finished in double figures for the second straight game with 13 points on a perfect 6-for-6 mark from the free throw line.
Blaire Egardo led the Jaguars with 12 points, while Eryka Menzies added 11 and Evans tallied 10 for Augusta State.
North Georgia shot 45-percent from the field, 60-percent from long range, and 78-percent from the charity stripe, while ASU finished 41-percent from the floor, 30-percent behind the arc, and 62-percent from the free throw line.
The Lady Saints return to action over the weekend, welcoming Columbus State University to town for another Peach Belt Conference contest. Tip-off against the Cougars is set for 1:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall.