DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The University of North Georgia women's basketball team closed out a four-game home stand with a 2-2 record heading into this week's pair of road games. There are just two teams on the Saints' schedule that they have not faced and they will scratch one of those off this week before rekindling an older rivalry.
First up will be a trip to Columbus, Ga. where the Saints will look to take on Columbus State University in what could shape up to be one of the most important Peach Belt Conference West Division matchups. The Cougars currently occupy the fourth slot in the West standings, just ahead of North Georgia. The top-four teams from each division will advance to the 2013 PBC Basketball tournament.
Following Thursday's 5:30 p.m. game, the Saints will travel to Montevallo, Ala. for a rematch against the University of Montevallo at 2:30 p.m. Eastern standard time on Saturday, Feb. 2.
Jaymee Carnes leads the team with a double-double of 18.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game and a shooting percentage of 42.2% from the field. With her 17 points against No. 3 Clayton State University on Saturday, Carnes is now just 17 points shy of reaching the 1,000 career points mark as she scored 46 points her freshman year at Wake Forest University and has scored 937 in her career at North Georgia.
Sophomore guard Stephanie Huffman averages 11.7 points per game while shooting 39.1% from the field. She is just 40 points shy of reaching 500 career points.
The duo leads a Saints team that shoots 39.1% from the field while averaging just over 60 points per game.
Columbus State (10-8, 6-5 PBC) holds a slight 8-5 advantage in the series between the two programs after the two split last year's meetings, winning on each other's home courts. The Cougars enter Thursday's matchup having won their last two games, and three of their last five.
As a team, the Cougars are averaging 69 points per contest and shooting 40.4% as a team behind Taren White's 12.5 points per game. White is a 44.9% shooter from the field and has started eight games this season, but has not started since a January 5 game against the University of South Carolina Aiken.
Behind white, Asha Alexander and Chatil Bradfor average just over 10.0 points per game. Alexander, the only player to have started all 18 games for Columbus State, leads the team under the basket with 7.6 rebounds per game while connecting on 47% of her shot.
The last time Montevallo (12-8, 7-4 PBC) and North Georgia faced off, the Falcons escaped Memorial Hall Gymnasium with a 60-58 win on January 10. Since then, Montevallo has gone 3-3 and are 6-3 at home for the season.
As a team, the Falcons are averaging 67 points per game while shooting 40.6% from the field. Other than Taylor Beverly's 17.5 points per game, the Falcons are an extremely well-balanced team with Trena Moore-Smith and Alexsis Brown each averaging just over 9.0 points per game while Shay Bonner and Zena Nasiloski each average close to 8.5 points per game.
In the January 5 game against North Georgia, four Montevallo starters finished in double figures led by Moore-Smith and Shay Bonner's 15 points. For North Georgia, Huffman led all scorers with 17 points off a 7-13 performance while Carnes added 14 points and 13 rebounds.