In a game with 14 lead changes in the first 20 minutes, it would be the final one in the final 12 minutes which would give Southern Crescent Tech the tough road win over Georgia Northwestern, 76-64, Saturday.
Up just a single point at the intermission - 32-31 - Georgia Northwestern could not find their rhythm against the visiting Tigers in the second stanza. Southern Crescent guard Demarrius Tyler would clean the road nets for 22 points and rack up five steals in their win.
The first game of region play in the 2012-13 season would see the long-awaited return of freshman guard Fernando Lemus, Jr. (Model). After a year-long rehab to treat torn ligaments in both knees, Lemus, Jr. would play lights out to start the game going three-for-three from long-range, dropping 11 points in just 12 minutes of first-half action.
The tell-tale sign for Georgia Northwestern Men's Head Basketball Coach David Stephenson was found at the backboards. The visiting Tigers would clean the road glass for 50 rebounds to Georgia Northwestern's 32 boards in the loss.
Another category of focus for the Cats (5-9, 0-1) came at the foul line. Georgia Northwestern shot an uncharacteristic eighty-percent from the free-throw line in their last game before Christmas break. However, the scoreboard went cold when the Cats hit the charity stripe in the region opener as they would connect on a dismal 41-percent (13-of-31) from the foul line in the loss.
The Bobcats will play a non-region game versus visiting NCAA Division II newcomer Lee University Tuesday night at the Rossville Athletic Complex. NJCAA Region XVII play will continue next Saturday night on the road as the Cats and Lady Cats head to Warner-Robins, Ga., to take on Middle Georgia Tech.
Men's Box Score
Georgia Northwestern (76) - Cotton 3, Jackson, Ivester 6, Fernando Lemus, Jr., 11, Todd 8, Alex Miller 10, Robinson, Tavish Reynolds 11, Olsen 5, Johnson, Dempsey 2.
Southern Crescent (64) - Noel, Critten 8, Demarrius Tyler 22, Stock, James Dewitt 15, Tarver 2, Gilbert 4, Daniels 2, Ignacio Hood 13, Cason 2, Miller 6.
Halftime Score: 32-31, Georgia Northwestern.
The NJCAA Region XVII defending champion Lady Cats attacked early and often in Georgia Northwestern's region opener Saturday versus Southern Crescent (GA). Up by as many as 25 in the first half, the Lady Cats would roar in their first region game of the title defense cruising past the Lady Tigers, 77-52.
Freshman Lady Cat Sierra Smith (Armuchee) would lead the way with 14 points, including four three-pointers in the region opener. Freshman forward Odessa Person (Lineville, AL) scored only eight points, but cleaned the home glass for 17 rebounds.
Southern Crescent sharpshooter LaKaisha Anderson led all Lady Tiger scorers with 22 points in their road loss.
Lady Cats Alyssa Nichelson (Creekview) and Kiarra Parks (Pepperell) dropped in 13 and 12 points, respectively. Georgia Northwestern jumped out to the early lead in the first half with 83-percent shooting from the charity stripe and connected from three-point land at a 44-percent click.
The Lady Cats (7-7, 1-0) will play a non-region game at Cleveland State (TN) Tuesday night. N JCAA Region XVII play will continue next Saturday night on the road as the Cats and Lady Cats head to Warner-Robins, Georgia to take on Middle Georgia Tech.
Georgia Northwestern is a member of the NJCAA Region XVII and a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.
Women's Box Score
Georgia Northwestern (77) - Kiarra Parks 12, Jones 8, Cole 5, Alyssa Nichelson 13, Flaherty, Sierra Smith 14, Price 9, Mostella 8, Person 8.
Southern Crescent (52) - Jones 8, Shay Williams 16, Morgan, Miller 5, Sweat 1, LaKaisha Anderson 22, Egura.
Halftime Score: 41-21, Georgia Northwestern.