The North Georgia College & State University men’s basketball team defeated Clatyon State 71-66 in overtime on Saturday in Morrow.
The Saints get back into the win column for the first time in the 2011 calendar year, snapping a five-game skid and improving to 4-11 overall and 1-5 in the Peach Belt Conference.
In regulation, the Saints found themselves down by four points with 17 seconds remaining and the Lakers on the free throw line for a pair, but after a two straight misses, North Georgia had new life and Chaun Tinney hit his first basket of the game, a jumper just inside the arc to cut the lead to two with eight seconds remaining.
Following another foul, the Lakers collapsed at the free throw line once again, missing both attempts and sending North Georgia down the court with a chance to tie or win the game.
Tinney pushed it up and found Clarence Tillman who took two dribbles and drilled a jumper from the top of the key as time expired, knotting the score at 59-59 and sending the Saints and Lakers to overtime.
Clayton State quickly took the lead in overtime on a free throw, but it was to be the Saints’ night as Brody Langston recorded a steal and slam dunk to give North Georgia a one-point lead.
The Lakers retook the lead with 1:03 remaining, but it was Langston again with answer on the ensuing possession, posting up on the block and sending a running layup off the glass to give North Georgia the lead for good.
A balanced scoring attack was the story for the Saints as Elijah Smith had his game of the year, finishing with 12 points, 17 rebounds, and five blocks. His 17 rebounds set a new Division II record for the Saints since the program entered the NCAA in 2005. Tillman tallied a game-high 21 points, while Langston had 11 and Taylor rounded out the four players in double figures with 10 points.
NGCSU plays host to the University of Montevallo at 7:30 on Monday in Dahlonega.