Columbus State women lose to North Georgia in overtime


HICKORY, N.C. -- Columbus State had a 15-point lead on North Georgia midway through the second half Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional. But the Lady Cougars couldn't hang on and lost 85-83 in overtime.

Chatil Bradford scored CSU's last field goal in regulation for a 72-67 lead with 1:03 remaining.

North Georgia scored the final five points to tie the game at 72. The Nighthawks' Ciera Jackson tied the game as she put back an offensive rebound with 5.5 seconds left. Jackson had a chance to win the game as she was fouled on the play. But she missed.

CSU (21-8) was unable to get a shot off in the final 5.5 seconds.

In overtime, Bradford scored eight of CSU's 11 points. She finished with 25. Asha Alexander had 24.

The Lady Cougars held a one-point lead, 83-82, with 50 seconds left in overtime after Ashley Asouzu scored.

But Jackson answered with a layup and an 84-83 lead.

CSU's next trip ended with a held ball and North Georgia had the possession arrow.

Stephanie Huffman hit 1-of-2 free throws for an 85-83 lead with 14 seconds left, giving CSU a chance to tie or win the game. But CSU had two shots, but neither one connected.

CSU lost to North Georgia twice during the regular season -- 78-73 in Columbus and 70-67 in Dahlonega.

The lower seed won the first three games on Friday, including No. 8 seed knocking off No. 1 seed and host Lenoir-Rhyne 64-56. In the other games, No. 6 Belmont Abbey beat No. 3 Wingate 93-86 and No. 7 Limestone beat No. 2 Clayton State 75-65.

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