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Local college scoreboard: March 2

POSTED: March 3, 2013 12:30 a.m.

For the first time since 2009, the University of North Georgia women’s basketball team will be heading to the Peach Belt Conference Basketball Championships.

The Saint women used a 50-point second half to defeat Georgia Southwestern State University 83-73 Saturday night, securing their berth into the PBC tournament next week all on their own.

While the Saints did not need it, they received a little help earlier Saturday as Georgia College (12-14, 8-11 PBC) fell 71-69 to Armstrong Atlantic State University (13-13, 8-11 PBC) at home in Milledgeville.

But North Georgia made sure to finish the job on their own as they won their fourth game in the last five.

North Georgia (12-14, 10-9 PBC) end’s the regular-season with an above .500 record in PBC play and will look to take on Augusta State University, the No. 1 seed out of the East, in the opening round of the PBC Tournament at 1 p.m. on Thursday in Columbus.

In Saturday’s game, the Saints fell behind 38-33 entering half time due to 12 first period turnovers. Despite the problems with turnovers, the Saints shot 48.3 percent from the field in the opening stanza and ended the game shooting 57.1 percent (32-56) from the field after scorching the net in the second half off an 18-27 (66.7 percent) performance.

GEORGIA SOUTHWESTERN MEN 92, NORTH GEORGIA 80: The University of North Georgia men’s basketball team locked up the No. 2 seed out of the West Division in the upcoming Peach Belt Conference Basketball Championships Saturday, but still fell 92-80 at the hands of Georgia Southwestern State University Saturday evening in the regular-season finale.

The Hurricanes (13-13, 9-10 PBC) were playing for the No. 3 seed when they took down the Saints (15-11, 10-9 PBC) after Clayton State University fell Saturday at the hands of Columbus State University.

Despite the loss, the Saints will be making their first appearance in the PBC Tournament since the 2009-10 season. North Georgia will be the No. 2 seed as Young Harris College, which finished the regular-season second in the West Division, is ineligible for post-season play.

The Saints will take on the No 3 seed out of the East, Armstrong Atlantic State University.

Baseball
The University of North Georgia baseball team opened its Peach Belt Conference schedule Saturday afternoon with a tough doubleheader at fifth-ranked Lander University on Saturday. The Saints claimed the first game 7-2 before falling 11-0 in the day’s second game.

In the first game of the twin bill, the Saints (4-10, 1-1 PBC) out-hit the Bearcats 12-8 led by Devin Gearhart, Travis Naraine and Derek Hooper each with two hits. Gearhart went 2-3 at the plate while Naraine went 2-4. Both scored twice while Tremayne Toorie batted in three runs.

The Saints started things off with the first run scored in the top of the second before Lander answered with their only two runs of the game in the bottom of the same frame.

From there, North Georgia tacked on two runs in the third and fifth innings before plating single runs in the sixth and seventh to secure the five-run win.

Sophomore left-handed pitcher Taylor Keinat pitched the first seven innings for the Saints, striking out seven batters, to improve to 1-2 for the year while Chris Cobb came in for the final two innings, giving up just two hits compared to three strikeouts.

Dylan Wolchick, a junior right-hander, went the first five innings for the Bearcats, but gave up five runs, four earned, to suffer his first loss of the season (3-1)

Tennis
The University of North Georgia men’s and women’s tennis teams lost 9-0 in both against Armstrong Atlantic State University on Saturday in Savannah.

Felipe Friedrich and Matheus Guida did come close to pulling off the upset at No. 1 doubles for the 30th-ranked Saints (3-3) as they battled Georgi Rumenov and Daniel Regan, the top-ranked doubles tandem in the nation, to an 8-6 decision. That would unfortunately be the closest battle on the court as the Pirates (5-0) took the singles matches in straight sets.

On the women’s side, Armstrong Atlantic (7-0) took doubles 8-1, 8-1 and 8-2 before claiming singles in straight sets as well in a dominating win.

Both of North Georgia’s squads will next travel to Flagler College, ranked 33rd on the men’s side and 41st in women’s tennis today in St. Augustine, Fla.

Softball
The fourth-ranked University of North Georgia softball team opened the 2013 Mid-South Classic with a two-game split Friday night as the Saints fell 3-2 to Lenoir-Rhyne University in their opening game before bouncing back with a 9-8 win over Brevard College.

Saints freshman pitcher Courtney Poole (12-2) took the loss against the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne. 2012 Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and 2013 PBC Preseason All-Conference selection Melissa Dickie (2-2) picked up her second win of the season in the 9-8 win over Brevard.

In the day’s second game, the Saints (17-4) received home runs from Kim McMillan and 2013 PBC Preseason All-Conference selection Katherine Martin to record the win over the Tornados. Martin went 3-4 at the plate with two runs scored and three batted in.


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