January 29, 2011

Pirates Force Overtime, Take Down Lady Saints 55-48

DAHLONEGA, GA – The North Georgia women's basketball team were on the verge of their third straight win on Saturday afternoon, but Armstrong Atlantic had different plans, forcing overtime and coming away with a 55-48 victory on Homecoming 2011 in Memorial Hall.

The Lady Saints fall short in a bid to win three straight games on the week, falling to 13-7 overall on the year and 4-5 in the Peach Belt Conference. The Pirates improve to 8-10 on the season with the overtime win and move to 4-6 on the year in the league.

Neither team was able to find offense in the early going as nine straight missed shots opened the game until Arpine Amirkhanyan gave Armstrong a 2-0 lead with 16:20 remaining in the half.

North Georgia briefly knotted the score at 2-2 on the ensuing possession, using a layup by Meredith Montgomery before the Pirates scored five straight points to jump out to a 7-2 lead.

North Georgia closed the deficit down to a pair on three different occasions, but Armstrong Atlantic had an answer for every run and took their biggest lead of the half at 24-14 with just 3:26 remaining.

The Lady Saints finally got back on track in the closing minutes of the opening period, using a layup from Sarah Stinson and a three-pointer by Tiffany Marlow to close the half on a 5-0 run and down by just five points at 24-19 heading to intermission.

The second half proved to be even closer than the first as the score was deadlocked five times and changed hands three more times, including the fifth tie of the period at the 4:06 mark on a jumper by Jessica Trice to make it a 41-41 game.

Following a free throw by Jazmin Walker with 3:45 remaining to give the Pirates a one-point edge, Trice came through again, knocking down a jumper to give the Lady Saints a 43-42 lead with just 3:34 remaining.

Both teams would go cold from the field until Trice was fouled and went to the charity stripe with 20 seconds left, connecting on one of two attempts to put the Lady Saints up by a bucket.

The Pirates returned the favor on the ensuing possession, collecting an offensive rebound and Brooke Long found a wide open Mauri Wells under the goal to deadlock the score and force overtime tied again at 44-44.

In the extra period, Armstrong Atlantic jumped out on top with a three-pointer from Ashley Slade, but Meredith Montgomery answered on the other end, finishing off a three-point play at the charity stripe to create the seventh tie of the contest.

It was all Pirates from there as North Georgia was outscored 7-1 over the final three minutes, not connecting on another field goal the rest of the way in a six-point defeat in front of a capacity crowd of over 2,000.

The low scoring affair sent just one North Georgia player into double figures as Garmon led the way with 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting, while seven other players scored, including eight points apiece by Moss and Montgomery.

The Lady Saints will have a four-day break before returning to action on Wednesday evening, traveling to Georgia College for an in-state battle against the Bobcats. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. in the Centennial Center.