COLUMBUS, Ga. – The Georgia College women's basketball team (18-10) got three 21-point performers to help push past No. 23 University of North Georgia (22-6) 83-67 Saturday in the semifinals of the 2014 Peach Belt Conference (PBC) Tournament.
Georgia College advances to play the winner of the Clayton State University/Columbus State University contest for the PBC Tournament Title. The last time the Bobcats played in the title game was a win in 2011 over USC Aiken.
"Our quick start was key," said head coach Maurice Smith. "We knew North Georgia would have a big run in them; they're just too strong an offensive team."
The Bobcats never trailed in the contest, starting off on a 9-0 run. The lead reached as high as 20 twice in the first half. The first 20-point lead came with 12:45 left in the first frame, leading 24-4 after a three from McKinney.
It was more of the same in the second half, as UNG failed to get the deficit any closer than 11 over the remaining 20 minutes.
McKinney had 13 of her 21 in the second half, finishing 4-for-7 from long range. She added a team-best nine rebounds, and five big steals. Donley was 9-of-15 from the floor with eight boards. Freshman guard LaRice Walker (Franklin, Ga.) scored 13 points, getting 7-for-9 from the free-throw line.
The Bobcat defense held a potent North Georgia offense to just 33 percent (20-60) from the floor, including a paltry 4-of-24 from long range. The Bobcats led in takeaways as well, 20-12.
PBC Player of the Year Mimi Hill finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds, while All-PBC Second Teamer Stephanie Huffman added 17 points and 14 rebounds. Cierra Jackson eked into double digits with 10 points, matched by Jordan Livesay. Huffman and Hill combined made 16 of the team's 20 field goals on the day's effort.
The Bobcats will next play for their eighth PBC Tournament Title, and the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Southeast Regional Tournament. Georgia College's title game will come Sunday, March 9 at 2 p.m. against either the Cougars or Lakers.
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit GCBobcats.PhotoReflect.com to purchase photo prints from home athletic contests.