February 5, 2011

Cougars Lead Wire-to-Wire, Top Lady Saints 72-55

COLUMBUS, GA – The North Georgia women's basketball team dropped their third straight contest on Saturday evening, traveling to Columbus State University and falling 72-55 to the Cougars in Peach Belt Conference action in the Lumpkin Center.

The Lady Saints drop to 13-9 overall on the year and 4-7 in the Peach Belt Conference, while the Cougars improve to 12-8 overall and 5-6 in league action.

North Georgia struggled to find the basket the first ten minutes, managing just nine points, seven of which were scored by Lindsey Moss. Columbus State capitalized and pulled away, stretching its lead to 17-9 just over halfway through the first half.

A Tandria Milton basket stretched the lead to 10 at 19-9 with 8:56 to play before Lindsey Moss connected on back to back three pointers for North Georgia, narrowing the deficit to 21-15 at the 7:32 mark.

Following a missed three by Moss, a Dominique Gilbert layup ignited a 14-2 run for Columbus State over the course of the next four minutes, capped off by a Carrie Washington jumper with 2:59 left in the half, giving the Lady Cougars a commanding 35-17 lead.

An Asha Alexander layup gave CSU its largest lead of the half at 39-18 with just over a minute to play before halftime.

Another Moss three, this one banked off the glass, would be the final bucket for either team in the first half and sending the two teams into the break with CSU up by a 39-21 margin.

Moss was the lone offensive threat for North Georgia in the first half as the junior forward scored 16 of the team's 21 points to lead all scorers in the first half.  Moss was 6-of-8 from the floor, including 4-of-6 from three-point range.

Columbus State connected on 12-of-28 (42.9%) from the floor in the first half and also hit on 12-of-14 (85.7%) from the free-throw line.

Gilbert got things going for CSU in the second half with a layup putting the home team up 41-21 with 19:49 left to play.  That would spark an 11-3 run for Columbus State over the first seven and half minutes of the second half, stretching the lead to 50-24 on a Nakita Holt layup at the 12:22 mark.

From the twelve minute mark on, the Lady Saints would get no closer than 20 until a Jessica Trice three-pointer narrowed the margin to 65-48 with 2:22 to play.  Columbus State cruised down the stretch the final two minutes eventually capturing an easy 72-56 victory.

After scoring 16 in the first half alone for North Georgia, Lindsey Moss was held to just two points in the second half. Moss led all scorers with 18 points including 4-of-7 from three-point range in 34 minutes of action.  Janyce Ealey added 16 points, 13 of which came in the second half. The Lady Saints connected on 16-of-45 (35.6%) shooting for the game, including a 6-of-14 effort from three-point range. North Georgia was 18-of-23 (78.3%) from the free-throw line.

Columbus State placed three players in double figures led by Dominique Gilbert who scored 12 points in 17 minutes of action.  Lauren Matheney and Asha Alexander both added ten. Marah Wright chipped in with nine. The Lady Cougars connected on 22-of-56 (39.3%) field goals and a season-high 23-of-26 (88.5%) from the free-throw line.

The Lady Saints return to action on Wednesday evening, traveling to Francis Marion for another Peach Belt Conference contest. Tip-off against the Patriots is set for 5:30 p.m. in Florence, South Carolina.