MILLEDGEVILLE, GA – The North Georgia Women's basketball team battled back from an early double-digit deficit to take a one-point lead, but Georgia College rallied in the second half and held off a late run by the Lady Saints to take a 63-55 victory in the Centennial Center in Peach Belt Conference action.
The Lady Saints drop their second straight game and opening contest of a current three-game road trip, falling to 13-8 overall and 4-6 in the Peach Belt Conference. The Bobcats, now winners in six of their last seven, improve to 14-4 overall and 6-4 in league action.
North Georgia still holds a 31-20 all-time series lead over the bobcats in 51 meetings, with the two teams slated to meet again later this month to close out the regular season.
The Bobcats jumped all over the Lady Saints early, getting buckets from three different players on their way to an 8-0 lead with under 16 minutes to play in the opening half.
After falling behind by double digits with 13:18 remaining, North Georgia finally found their rhythm and used a 13-2 run to take their first lead of the game at 15-14. Three-pointers sparked the run as Lindsey Moss drained a triple, followed by back-to-back long ones for Bianca O'Neal as the Lady Saints found themselves in the lead with 8:25 left in the half.
The lead would be short lived as Jessica Baker answered 45 seconds later with a three-pointer of her own to give the Bobcats the lead right back at 17-15. North Georgia forced a pair of ties over the final minutes of the half, but Georgia College closed the period on a 6-0 run to take a 30-24 advantage into intermission.
The Lady Saints cut the Bobcats' lead to two points just four minutes into the half, using a three-pointer from Moss and a free throw by Janyce Ealey to make it 32-30 with 15:42 remaining.
Georgia College pulled away once again following North Georgia's run, using back-to-back three-pointers by Chimere Jordan with under 10 minutes to play, extending the Bobcats' lead to as many as 10 points on two different occasions.
The Lady Saints had one final run left in them with under two minutes to play as Jessica Trice drained a three-pointer at the 1:38 mark to cut the lead to two points, but Krysta Lewis answered 17 seconds later with a long jumper to push the right back to four.
North Georgia launched a trio of shots from behind the arc with under a minute to play that would have cut the lead to a single point, but the Lady Saints were unable to connect as Georgia College held on for the 63-55 victory.
Moss led North Georgia with 12 points and seven rebounds, while O'Neal and Sarah Stinson tallied 11 points apiece in the losing effort. Trice finished a point shy of double figures and added seven rebounds in 26 minutes of action.
Jordan led all scorers with 27 points for the Bobcats, finishing a rebound shy of a double-double and adding a perfect 6-for-6 performance from the charity stripe. Dominique Huffin was the only other Georgia College player in double figures with 13 points on 5-for-19 shooting from the field.
The Lady Saints will go right back to work over the weekend, hitting the road for another in-state Peach Belt Conference contest at Columbus State University. Tip-off against the Cougars is set for 1:30 p.m. in the Lumpkin Center.