Posted: Saturday, March 8th 2014 at 6:40pm
Georgia College knocks North Georgia women out of PBC tourney
By Staff reports
COLUMBUS –– Georgia College opened the game with a 24-4 run and never looked back as they sprinted past 23rd-ranked University of North Georgia 83-67 in the women's semifinals of the PBC Tournament, presented by Jani-King.
With the win, Georgia College (18-10) advances to the championship game tomorrow at 2 p.m.
UNG, which is in a strong position to earn an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament, falls to 22-6 on the year and was denied their second straight PBC Championship game appearance.
"I am extremely proud of our team for what we have accomplished so far this season," stated UNG head coach Buffie Burson. "My hat is off to Georgia College. I thought they played extremely feisty and we could not get anything going on the offensive end early in the game."
The Bobcats started the game on fire, hitting their first four field goals and keeping the Nighthawks off the scoreboard for the first 3:38 of the game. That lead grew to 20 just seven minutes in before North Georgia got their feet under them to respond.
The Nighthawks, the second seed in the west region, began to eat into that lead with a 16-3 run over the next five minutes, capped by a Stephanie Huffman driving layup.
Georgia College answered with another run, building the lead back up to 20 on a layup from Eisha Donley. But North Georgia answered again, cutting the lead back to 10 before Georgia College's Thresia Elskamp hit a three just before halftime for a 43-30 Bobcat advantage at the break.
Neither team could make much headway to start the second half as the two traded punches for the majority of the period. A pair of free throws from Huffman cut the lead to 11 with 12:43 to play, but North Georgia would get no closer as the Bobcats embarked on another run, a 14-5 streak over the next four minutes that left the lead at 20 to put the game out of reach.
Georgia College relied on their all-star trio guards in Donley, Shanteona Keys and Brandi McKinney, each of whom scored 21 points. McKinney also led the team with nine rebounds and hit 4-of-7 three pointers while Donley added eight boards.
Mimi Hill, the PBC Player of the Year, led the Nighthawks with 27 points and added 12 rebounds. Huffman finished with 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Cierra Jackson and Jordan Livesay added 10 each; only five Nighthawks scored in the game. North Georgia also struggled from the perimeter, hitting just 4-24 three-pointers and shot 33 percent from the field as a team for the game.
North Georgia will await a potential NCAA National Tournament bid as the selection committee will announced the field for the 2014 Championship tomorrow (March 9) at 10 p.m. on NCAA.com. The Nighthawks are ranked fourth in the most recent Southeast Regional poll.
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