Posted: Saturday, December 14th 2013 at 5:27pm
Nighthawks fall to Armstrong State
By staff reports
DAHLONEGA -– The University of North Georgia men's basketball team rallied back from an early hole 17-point hole but would ultimately come up short in an 84-79 Peach Belt Conference loss to visiting Armstrong Atlantic State University on Saturday in Memorial Hall.
Former Flowery Branch standout Ishmael Hollis scored 22 points to lead four Nighthawks in double figures.
Armstrong (4-4, 1-0 PBC) would race out of the gate after scoring 16 of the game's first 20 points to lead 20-6 at the 12:20 mark. The Pirates would extend their lead to a game high 17 (23-6) less than a minute later on a free throw by Eric Eversley.
North Georgia (3-4, 0-1 PBC) would gather momentum late in the first period. Trailing 32-25 with 4:38 remaining, UNG would end the half on a 11-2 run punctuated with a buzzer-beating layup by Travis Core giving the Nighthawks their first lead of the game 36-34 at the break.
AASU opened the second frame on a 14-3 run to take a 48-39 lead and the Pirates would maintain a two-possession lead until a layup by Core at the 7:11 mark would cut the lead to a single point (62-61). Armstrong would take control of the game over the next five minutes with a 12-4 run to take a 74-65 lead with just 2:31 remaining.
Core would finish with 18 points and seven assists. Lamar Richardson would add 17 to the Nighthawks' cause including a 5-12 performance from behind the three-point line. Michael Varrichione would come off the bench and add 11 points for North Georgia.
Hichem Benayad Cherif tallied a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds for AASU while Eversley completed a double-double of his own with 15 points and 10 collections. Kenny Bellinger II added 17 points for the Pirates.
The shooting percentages balanced with AASU connecting on 25-25 (43%) compared to UNG's 29-66 (44%) but Armstrong held a decisive 47-33 edge on the glass.
The victory ended three-game slide for Armstrong.
The Nighthawks return to action on Monday, December 16 at 7:30 when Flagler comes to Memorial Hall for the semester's final PBC action.
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