The North Greenville women (13-14) played one of their best 20 minutes of basketball of the season, leading head coach Jayne Arledge to believe her team had a chance to knock off the #1 seed in the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Regional Tournament in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Emmanuel College of Georgia exploded in the second half and came away with an 82-64 win in the first round. Freshman Karly Stache led NGU with 17 points, 14 in the first half. Nikki Wood added 14 points and Amanda Milner added 12.
With the Crusaders leading 33-28 at halftime, the proverbial wheels came off the wagon as NGU turned the ball over four times at the end of the first half, and then again three more times to start the second half. Then, the Crusaders gave Emmanuel numerous open looks at the basket, and the Crusaders went behind by an insurmountable margin.
“Emmanuel really didn’t dominate us like you would think looking at the score,” Arledge said. “We played a great first half, but turned it over at the end of the half and right at the beginning of the second. We held them to 27% shooting and forced 11 turnovers in the first half. After that, they got after us. We were only down 10 points with about three minutes to go, but went to a press to try to get back in it and had to start fouling. They made every free throw and we missed a bunch, and that was the difference,” Arledge added.
NGU will conclude its 2008-2009 schedule Saturday, Feb. 21 by hosting the University of West Georgia at 2:00 p.m. at Hayes Gymnasium. That game has been designated “Senior Day,” and seniors Mindy Greenstone, Amanda Milner and Bridgett Smith will be honored in pre-game ceremonies.