Columbus State women fall to North Georgia

FROM STAFF REPORTSFebruary 26, 2014 

DAHLONEGA, Ga. -- The Columbus State Lady Cougars rallied in the final minutes Wednesday night but fell to the North Georgia Nighthawks 70-67.

CSU had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but a 3-pointer by Chatil Bradford missed.

The loss ended CSU's hopes of winning the Peach Belt Conference regular-season title. The Lady Cougars will be the No. 3 seed from the Western Division in next week's PBC tournament at the Lumpkin Center.

CSU, which also saw its four-game win streak snapped by the Nighthawks, is 18-6 overall and 13-5 in the PBC. Clayton State, which beat Young Harris 70-67 in overtime Wednesday night, still leads at 15-3 in the PBC. North Georgia is second at 14-4. Even if CSU won Saturday and North Georgia lost, the Nighthawks own the tiebreaker with the season sweep of the Lady Cougars.

The PBC tournament will start on Thursday with the four quarterfinals for the women. CSU will play the No. 2 seed from the Eastern Division.

CSU led North Georgia 26-21 at halftime. But the Nighthawks hit 14-of-its first 20 shots in the second half to storm back for a 10-point lead, 58-48. with 6:29 left.

But the Lady Cougars battled back as Bradford and Tae Smith made back-to-back 3-pointers to start a 14-6 run, which cut the deficit to 2, 64-62, with 2:54 remaining.

The Nighthawks made 6-of-8 free throws over the final 2:06 to keep CSU at bay.

CSU had a chance to tie the game when Asha Alexander went to the foul line with 1:21 remaining. But she made just 1-of-2 to leave North Georgia with a 66-65 lead.

Cierra Jackson hit a free throw for a 67-65 lead. CSU missed its next two field-goal attemtpts, then Jordan Livesay hit 1-of-2 free throws for a 68-65 lead.

Alexander made a jump shot with 24 seconds remaining to pull CSU to within 1, 68-67.

The Nighthawks ran the clock down to 9 seconds remained when Mimi Hill was fouled. She hit two free throws for a 70-67 lead.

Bradford led CSU with 22 points, and Alexander added 17. Smith had 10. Hill led North Georgia with 20.

COLUMBUS STATE (18-6, 13-5 PBC)

Chatil Bradford 9-26 3-4 22; Asha Alexander 7-15 3-4 17; Tae Smith 3-9 3-5 10; Dee Dee Deshazer 3-10 0-0 9; Britteny Tatum 2-7 1-3 5; Ashley Asouzu 1-2 0-0 2; Carrie Washington 1-3 0-2 2; Kayla Richards 0-2 0-0 0; Kim Blake 0-0 0-0 0; Kristen Kennebrew 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-75 10-18 67.

NORTH GEORGIA (20-5, 14-4 PBC)

Mimi Hill 7-16 5-6 20; Stephanie Huffman 6-12 6-6 18; Cierra Jackson 5-8 4-7 17; Jordan Livesay 3-8 3-4 10; Molly Rainwater 1-7 0-0 3; Kaylee Akin 0-2 2-2 2; Lauren Pounds 0-1 0-0 0; Helena Pouengue 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-55 20-25 70.

Halftime--Columbus State 26-21. 3-point goals--Columbus State 5-20 (Dee Dee Deshazer 3-9; Tae Smith 1-5; Chatil Bradford 1-3; Kayla Richards 0-2; Kristen Kennebrew 0-1), North Georgia 6-23 (Cierra Jackson 3-6; Jordan Livesay 1-4; Mimi Hill 1-3; Molly Rainwater 1-7; Kaylee Akin 0-2; Stephanie Huffman 0-1). Fouled out--Columbus State-Carrie Washington, North Georgia-None. Rebounds--Columbus State 38 (Carrie Washington 8; Chatil Bradford 8), University of North Georgia 51 (Mimi Hill 14). Assists--Columbus State 13 (Asha Alexander 5), North Georgia 14 (Jordan Livesay 4). Total fouls--Columbus State 21, North Georgia 18. Technical fouls--Columbus State-None, North Georgia-None. A-1702

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