COLUMBUS, Ga. – With a jumper at the 13:09 mark, Jaymee Carnes eclipsed the 1,000 career points mark en route to a 30-point performance Thursday night to lead three other Saints in double figures, but it was not enough as the University of North Georgia women's basketball team fell 92-88 on the road to Columbus State University in a pivotal Peach Belt Conference West Division matchup.
The loss drops the Saints to 7-11 and 5-6 in the PBC while Columbus State, the team that entered Thursday night just ahead of North Georgia for the all-important fourth spot in the division standings improves to 11-8 and 7-5 with their third win in a row.
After opening the game shooting a scorching 66% (21-32) from the field, the Saints ended the game shooting 59% (36-61) from the field. Neither team could do much wrong in the opening stanza as far as shooting went. Both teams ended the half shooting identical 66% from the field.
Carnes led all scorers with her 30-point performance. It was a season-high for the junior from Gainesville as she went 13-21 from the field and finished with seven rebounds, seven assists and four blocks.
Sophomore guard Stephanie Huffman was the next closest Saint with 18 points off a 7-10 performance that saw her go 2-3 from three-point range. Mimi Hill ended the game with 16 points and eight rebounds while freshman Keeley Chester ended the 40-minute contest with 11 points.
The Cougars finished the game shooting 51.6% (33-64) from the field, including going 55% (11-20) from three-point range with four of those three-pointers coming from Kiersten Reid. One of those four treys was the game-winner and that drew a foul on the play, but Reid was unable to convert the four-point play. She ended the game with 15 points off a 4-8 performance.
Chatil Bradford, who entered the game averaging 10.0 points per game, led the scoring drive for the Cougars with 23 points off a 10-12 performance and seven rebounds.
The Saints led by as many as 10 (46-36) with 5:19 remaining in the first half when Jasmine Manning hit two free throws, but the Cougars worked hard to tie things up with a 15-5 run in the closing five minutes to close the gap.
Hill scored the first points of the second half with a layup, but the Cougars answered with eight unanswered points to retake the lead.
The two remained close for the entire second half, swapping points and the lead before Hill made a layup with 3:20 to give the Saints their largest lead of the half, five (82-77). But the Cougars proved to have some fight left in them as they out-scored North Georgia 15-6 in the final minutes to win the 92-88 contest.
North Georgia will next travel to Montevallo, Ala. where they will participate in a rematch with the University of Montevallo on Saturday, Feb. 2. The last time the two teams met, the Falcons escaped Memorial Hall Gymnasium with a 60-58 win. Tipoff for Saturday is schedule for 2:30 p.m. Eastern standard time.