DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The North Georgia College & State University women's basketball team enters one of the most grueling stretches a team could endure this week as the Saints (1-1) will hit the road for seven straight road games to close out the 212 calendar year. That stretch starts with this weekend's Eckerd Thanksgiving Classic on Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24.
The Saints will look to continue to shake the early season rust and find an identity in games against Florida Southern College and Eckerd College. North Georgia suffered a 103-82 set back in their only meeting with the Moccasins of Florida Southern three years ago but have never met the Tritons of Eckerd on the hardwood.
In last week's X-Trem Shoot-Out at home, the Saints shot 43.4% from the field in their two games. That effort included going 15-41 (.366) from three-point range, but North Georgia gave up 157 total points and allowed their opponents to hit on 43.2% (16-37) of their looks from three-point range.
Jaymee Carnes averaged 26.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in the first two games that included six assists and two blocks in Saturday's 83-79 victory over the University of West Florida. The 6-0 junior shot 55.9% (19-34) from the field and now has eight blocks and seven assists for the season to go along with 53 points and 14 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Stephanie Huffman was the only other Saint to average double-digit points for North Georgia as she collected 13 including a double-double off 11 points and 11 rebounds in the season-opening loss to Carson-Newman College on Friday.
Freshman Molly Rainwater provided an offensive spark for North Georgia in Saturday's game with West Florida as she drilled five three-pointers en route to 17 points – four came in the span of four minutes during one stretch. She also added three assists and two steals.
The Saints will first look to take on the Mocs on Friday at 1:00 p.m. Florida Southern is currently 0-3 for the year with losses to the No. 5 University of South Carolina Aiken, Bowie State and District of Columbia. 79.
As a team, Florida Southern is shooting 41.5% from the field led by Kirsten McIntyre's 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. She was Florida Southern's leading scorer the last two games and she is currently shooting 42.1% from the field and has collected the most rebounds in all three games.
Just behind McIntyre, Taylor Maldonado has averaged 10.7 points through the first three games while leading the team with four three-pointers and eight assists.
Eckerd holds a similar 1-1 record as the Saints and will look to host the Saints on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Their loss came in the season-opener to Armstrong Atlantic State University. They then bounced back to beat Northwood University last Wednesday.
As a team, the Tritons are shooting 49.5% from the field while their opponents have hit on just 34.2% of their looks from the field. The Tritons are also out-rebounding their opponents 41.0-23.0 per game entering this weekend's tournament, but, like the Mocs, are losing the turnover battle 23-42.
Three players are currently averaging double-digit points highlighted by Liga Vente's double-double average that includes 12.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per contest. She has shot 47.4% from the field so far and has five assists.
Taylor Bestry has averaged 16.0 points per contest while Annie Armstrong averaged 11.0 points per game. Bestry leads the team with 12 field goals made this season and is shooting 52.2% from the field.