Bobcats upset Nighthawks 65-51 to reach PBC title game

Bobcats upset Nighthawks 65-51 to reach PBC title game

PEMBROKE, N.C. – Georgia College senior Elisha Donley paced the Bobcats with a game-high 22 points as the No. 4 seed in the West Division upset No. 2 seed University of North Georgia 65-51 in the Peach Belt Conference tournament semifinals March 7 at the English E. Jones Center on the UNC Pembroke campus.

Donley contributed 11 of her 22 in the second half and sophomore LaRice Walker scored 15 of her 20 points in the half as the Bobcats turned a one-point halftime advantage into a double-digit lead with just under 10 minutes remaining before coasting to the win down the stretch.

Georgia College (16-12) advanced to face Columbus State University, the No. 1 seed in the West Division, in the championship game Sunday, March 8.

Tip off is set for 2 p.m. as the Bobcats look to pull off another upset against the Cougars, who are ranked No. 5 nationally in the latest USA Today NCAA Division II poll.

Donley, a second team All-PBC selection, finished 8-of-13 from the floor and 4-of-6 from the charity stripe while grabbing a team-high nine rebounds for the Bobcats. Walker, who finished 10-of-13 at the free-throw line, grabbed seven boards.

Senior Shanteona Keys, a first team All-PBC selection, chipped in 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Senior Stephanie Huffman paced North Georgia (21-9) with 20 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor and a 7-of-10 performance at the charity stripe. Huffman, a first team All-PBC selection, also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and dished out a team-high four assists.

Sophomore Kelsey Hutchins, a third team All-PBC selection, added 10 points and six rebounds.

Georgia College overcame a 10-0 run by the Nighthawks to open the game, closing the half with a 14-4 run to carry a 24-23 lead into the break.

Donley led the Bobcats with 11 points in the opening half on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor. Huffman paced the Nighthawks with 12 points in the first half.

The Bobcats opened the second half with a 16-9 run before Donley knocked down a pair of free throws with 9:17 remaining in the game to give Georgia College a 44-34 lead, its first double-digit lead in the game.

The Nighthawks trimmed the deficit to 59-51 following a tip-in by Huffman with 49 seconds remaining in the game, but couldn't get any closer.