DAHLONEGA -- The 22-ranked University of North Georgia women's basketball team erupted for 49 second half points and erase a five-point halftime deficit to post a 70-67 Peach Belt Conference victory over Columbus State on Wednesday in Memorial Hall. Mimi Hill paced four Nighthawks in double figures with a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds.
CSU led by as many as eight in the first half but Hill connected on a layup with 35 seconds left in the first half to cut the Nighthawks' deficit to 26-21 at intermission. The basketball also pushed the senior forward over the 1,000 career point milestone.
Stephanie Huffman added a double-double of her own with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Cierra Jackson added 17 points and nine rebounds while Jordan Livesay pitched in with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
The Lady Cougars (18-6, 13-5) were led by Chatil Bradford with 22 points and eight rebounds. Asha Alexander chipped in 17 points and six rebounds, and Tae Smith added 10 points. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Cougars.
Livesay and Huffman each posted four points in an 8-2 run that gave the Nighthawks a 48-42 lead with 10:12 on the clock. UNG was able to stay ahead by no less than five and steadily creeped up to a 10-point advantage of 58-48, the largest lead of the game from either side, with just over six minutes left in regulation.
Columbus State would cut the UNG lead to a single point on two occasions but a pair of free throws by Hill with 24 ticks left put the Nighthawks up three. A desperation three-pointer by Bradford as time expired was well off the mark.
The 20-win season is the first for the North Georgia women's basketball team since 2005-06. With the win, North Georgia secures at least one of the top two seeds out of the West Division for next week's Peach Belt Conference Tournament.
North Georgia (20-5, 14-4) will cap the regular season on Saturday, March 1 when Georgia Southwestern State comes to town for a 1:30 p.m. game as part of Senior Day.