Junior guard Brandi McKinney (Cincinnati) had her best game as a Bobcat Saturday afternoon, topped off by a last-second basket to give the Georgia College women’s basketball team (8-3, 4-0 PBC) the 72-71 victory at the North Georgia Saints (4-6, 2-1 PBC).
With 12 ticks remaining and up 71-70, the Saints would miss the front end of a 1-and-1, giving the Bobcats new life. After working through the offense a bit, Georgia College gave the ball to the hot-shooting McKinney who drove baseline to the basket and got a lay-in to fall, giving the Bobcats the lead with just one second remaining. After a long toss by the Saints fell way short, Georgia College had the one-point win.
McKinney led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting and 5-of-9 from behind the arc. The junior guard has now scored double-digit points in three straight games, making 11-of-19 three point attempts in that stretch.
Two other Bobcats scored in double digits Saturday, as Shanteona Keys (Roswell) had 17 points and Enisha Donley (Loganville) added 14 in the winning effort. Keys was 7-of-13 from the field and 3-of-6 from behind the arc, while Donley did her damage on 6-of-10 from the field.
As a team, the Bobcats shot 29-of-68 from the field, while shooting 10-of-23 from downtown. The Saints shot 30-of-57 from the field while hitting 9-of-18 three point attempts. The Bobcats turned the ball over a season low nine times, compared to 17 turnovers from the Saints.
North Georgia was led by reigning Division II National Player of the Year Jaymee Carnes, who had 17 points and eight rebounds, both below her season average of 21 points and 10 boards. Four other Saints scored in double figures, including Stephanie Huffman who netted 16 and had a game-high nine rebounds.
The Bobcats held a 25-19 lead with five minutes left in the first half but a 13-2 run by the Saints made the score 32-27 at halftime. The Bobcats would trail for most of the second half, with the Saint lead growing to as much as 44-31 with 15:52 left in the game. The Bobcats would gradually fight their way back, finally tying the score at 58-58 with 5:40 remaining.
The two teams would swap blows until Molly Rainwater hit a three pointer, making it 71-68 with 1:19 remaining. After a Donley jumper made it 71-70 in favor of the Saints, a North Georgia miss from the free throw line with 12 seconds left would set up McKinney’s heroics.
Georgia College will return home to the Centennial Center in action Thursday at 5:30 when the Bobcats face off against Flagler College.