'Canes fall 82-75 in back-and-forth battle

By Chris Whitaker, The Americus Times-Recorder

Chris Rawls scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half, and despite GSW shooting a conference-high 54.7 percent on the season, the Hurricanes fell to North Georgia, 82-75, in a game that saw eight lead changes.

Marcus Scott chipped in with 15 points, and Anthony Sargent scored 10 for GSW (7-11, 3-8 PBC).

GSW rallied from a 42-36 halftime deficit to lead by four at 67-63 with 6:10 remaining before the Saints (9-7, 3-7) outscored the Hurricanes 19-8 to end the game.

"It's just our inattention to details that gets us," said coach Mike Leeder. "It's little things like ball screens and knowing who the shooters are. You want teams to beat you with what's not their strength. We did a poor job with the scouting report."

Michael Moynihan's fourth 3-pointer of the game brought the Saints to within 69-68, and LaBrian Lyons' 3-pointer put North Georgia up for good at 73-71. Moynihan entered the game as the PBC's second-leading 3-point shooter, making 48 percent of his attempts.

Leeder said the Hurricanes played well offensively, but they continue to struggle on the defensive end.

"We play well defensively in spurts, but why we can't extend that into a longer period when we get a four-point lead, I have no idea why we can't do that," he said.

The Saints had a 33-29 edge in rebounds and 15-6 in second-chance points. They also held a 22-8 spread in points off turnovers.

North Georgia made 21 of 30 free throws while GSW was 13 of 18.

The loss slides GSW back into 10th in the conference standings. With losses at home to UNC Pembroke, GCSU and now North Georgia, Leeder said the final nine games will probably be even tougher.

"I think it's important to be playing your best basketball at the end of the season," said Leeder. "I think the pressure has to come from playing better. I don't know. I always said if you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves. We have to be better defensively and rebound better for the end result. We have really good practices, we need that to carry over to games."

The 'Canes host Lander on Saturday. Tip-off is 25 minutes after the women's game, approximately 4:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear blue to show their support in a "blue out" for GSW.