DAHLONEGA — Malik Hardy posted a game-high 18 points as the University of North Georgia men's basketball team opened their season with a 66-63 win over Flagler Wednesday evening inside the UNG Convocation Center.
North Georgia led for a total of 32:47, including the first 29:31 of the game. The Nighthawks stormed out of the gate to take a 20-10 lead midway through the first half. Flagler answered with a 11-2 run to cut the lead to a single point, but North Georgia responded by stretching the lead back out to nine by halftime.
In the second half, the Saints fell behind by as many as 15 points early on before going on a 10-0 run to trim the lead to five. Flagler would take their first lead of the contest at the 10 minute mark in the period. The two teams went back and forth for the final 10 minutes with Frank Champion hitting the go-ahead bucket with just over 90 seconds to play.
- Hardy put up his 18 points on 4-for-11 shooting and 8-for-8 from the free throw line. He also contributed six boards, fiva assists and two steals.
- Three other Nighthawks finished in double figures with Eric Jones scoring 14 points. Mekhail Bethea and Champion each had 13 points. Flagler's Jaizec Lottie led the Saints with 16 points.
- The Nighthawks assisted on 16 of their 21 made baskets.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
16-18 - North Georgia was 16-for-18 from the free throw line. Flagler was just 8-for-12.
UNG will travel to USC Aiken on Saturday afternoon with tipoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m.