Friday May 27th, 2016 2:23PM

Lady Saints basketball keeps postseason hopes alive with win

By staff
DAHLONEGA -- In the final home game of the regular season, the University of North Georgia women's basketball team did everything possible to keep their postseason hopes alive as the Saints beat Lander University 91-83 in a Peach Belt Conference cross division matchup Saturday evening.

The Saints (11-14, 9-9 PBC) used the win over the Bearcats (8-16, 5-12 PBC) and a win by the University of Montevallo over Georgia College to take over fourth place in the West Division over the Bobcats entering the final week of the regular season. Georgia College is finished with their divisional schedule and if North Georgia can defeat Georgia Southwestern State University on Saturday, Mar. 2, the Saints will punch their ticket to the PBC Basketball Tournament.

At half time of the game, the newest inductees into the North Georgia Athletics Hall of Fame, the Class of 2013, were introduced to the crowd. Coach Jim Otte, Sr., Anne (Smith) Hyams, Kara (Winkler) Leonard and William Gieler were inducted as the third class into the Hall of Fame earlier in the day at a luncheon before joining their fellow Hall of Famers at the game.

The Saints shot an impressive 57.9% (33-57) from the field to score the season-high 91 points as four players finished in double figures. North Georgia was also 8-19 (42.1%) from three-point range with freshman Molly Rainwater scoring all 15 of her points off five of the team's treys.

Fresh off her record-setting performance of 41 points on Thursday, junior Mimi Hill continued her impressive streak as she led the team with 27 points off a 10-15 shooting performance. She was also 6-6 from the free throw line.

In the last three weeks, Hill has averaged 27.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while shooting an impressive 60.2% (65-108) from the field. In those three weeks, she has set her career-high in points three different times and also set a new career-high in rebounds at 13 while averaging 35.5 minutes per game.

Sophomore Stephanie Huffman netted 16 points off a 6-10 shooting performance while Jaymee Carnes came off the bench to score 14 points and bring down nine rebounds.

For Lander, Precious Elkins, Lea Saunders and Briana Wade all registered the full 40 minutes while tallying double-digit points. Elkins led all scorers with 29 points off an impressive 13-17 outing from the field and finished with a double-double with 15 rebounds, including eight off the offensive glass.

Wade scored 18 points and Saunders netted 10 while Aarika Judge came off the bench to record 18 points while the Bearcats shot 45.2% (33-73) from the field.

North Georgia opened the game with the freshman tandem of Rainwater and Keeley Chester scoring the first five points, a lead the Saints did not relinquish until Jamie Shaw pushed Lander in front by two off a jumper with 5:26 remaining in the first half. The two swapped the lead back and forth four times from there in the first half with Lander claiming a 43-42 lead at the half time buzzer.

Elkins earned her double-double by the intermission as she had 19 points and 11 rebounds in the first half alone. But North Georgia made the necessary adjustments and came out in the second half to hold her to just 10 points.

The game remained extremely close in the second half with Lander finding a way to hold on to the lead until Hill drilled two of her six free throws to take the lead back for good with 8:35 remaining in the game.

From there, North Georgia never looked back and kept the quintet of Hill, Carnes, Huffman, Rainwater and Chester on the court to secure the eight-point, 91-83 victory despite Lander pulling within two twice in the final three minutes.

North Georgia will close out the regular season with a 5:30 p.m. West Division game at Georgia Southwestern on Saturday, Mar. 2. The Saints will be looking to complete the season-sweep over the Hurricanes after defeating GSW 71-42 on January 24.
© Copyright 2016
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 2 years ago )
No. 19 Georgia blows past Illinois
Shacobia Barbee had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead No. 19 Georgia over Illinois 82-60 on Saturday.
10:42PM ( 2 years ago )
Dogs will face Nebraska without standout DE Moss
Nebraska defensive end Avery Moss returned to his home in Arizona to attend to a personal issue and won't play in the Gator Bowl against No. 23 Georgia next week.
10:16PM ( 2 years ago )
Georgia Southern coach Monken headed for Army
Desperate to snap its long losing streak against its archrival, Army has hired former Navy assistant Jeff Monken as its 37th football coach.
1:04PM ( 2 years ago )
College Sports
Basketball: Area coaches see a 'positive' change to GHSA finals move
The response amongst northeast Georgia's coaches was overwhelmingly positive following the Georgia High School Association's announcement on Thursday that it will no longer hold its annual basketball championship games in the Macon Coliseum.
7:49PM ( 5 hours from now )
VIDEO: Historic postseason brought countless top plays
This year provided perhaps the most successful overall postseason campaign in the history of the sport in this area. And we have compiled some of the best highlights involved in that campaign here...
5:05PM ( 2 hours from now )
NASCAR pushes foward more lower downforce for 2017
You didn’t need a test or a complicated data set to understand the effects of NASCAR’s trend toward lower downforce in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
By Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service
12:00PM ( 2 hours ago )
Penske the standard of excellence at Indy after 50 years
It was 1951 when Jay Penske scored a pair of tickets to the Indianapolis 500. He was an executive for a metal fabrication company in Cleveland that was sponsoring a few laps in the race, so he brought his 14-year-old son to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
By Jenna Fryer-AP Auto Racing Writer
10:00AM ( 4 hours ago )
GHSA moves basketball championships away from Macon
The Georgia High School Association announced on Thursday that it will no longer hold its annual basketball championship games in the Macon Coliseum and is moving the contests to the University of Georgia's Stegeman Coliseum and Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion.
9:00AM ( 5 hours ago )