Kristen Hobbs leads UNCP to 80-71 overtime win over North Georgia on Think Pink Day
By Brad Crawford
Assistant Sports Editor
UNCP women’s basketball freshman Kristen Hobbs failed to get in the scoring column the first time the Lady Braves faced North Georgia on Jan. 12.
The rematch between the Black and Gold and the Lady Saints on Feb. 16 went a little bit differently.
Hobbs made her presence felt scoring a career- high 20 points as the Lady Braves defeated North Georgia 80-71 in overtime snapping an eight-game losing streak in thrilling fashion on “Think Pink Day” at the English E. Jones Center.
Hobbs, a 5-foot-9 guard from Granite Falls, N.C., connected on four 3-pointers and all six shots from the free-throw line while wearing a pink headband and pink socks to honor breast cancer awareness.
Hobbs’ short jumper in the lane with 12 seconds to play in regulation rolled around the rim before dropping through, forcing overtime with the score tied at 60.
In the extra session, UNCP (8-15, 3-13 PBC) held North Georgia to just three made field goals and outscored the Lady Saints 20-11. The Lady Braves’ converted 13-of-16 free-throws in overtime to preserve the win.
North Georgia’s Syretha Marble scored 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the Lady Saints, while Brooke Baker came off the bench to register 13 points and teammate Kourtney Singleton adding 11.
North Georgia (15-8, 8-8 PBC) made just 8-of-35 3-point attempts, shooting 22 percent from long range in the loss.
With the win, the Lady Braves’ avenged a previous 74-66 loss at North Georgia on Jan. 12 and improved to 2-1 this season in games decided in overtime.
“We made it difficult for ourselves but made the shots when we needed to,” said UNCP head coach John Haskins. “I thought we did a very good job rebounding the ball and that always makes a difference in the game. Hobbs played very well tonight, but I thought Ray and Johnson gave us outstanding games as well.”
UNCP’s Natalie Ray and Lavantay Johnson combined to score 36 points in the paint, dominating inside for the Lady Braves. Ray, UNCP’s leading scorer this season with 13.9 points per game, also collected 12 rebounds for the Black and Gold increasing her double-double total to seven this season.
Ray gave UNCP a 56-49 lead with 5:33 left in regulation, but North Georgia answered with an 11-2 run to take its fourth lead of the game, 60-58, on Marble’s free throws more than four minutes later.
Johnson, a junior transfer from Winston-Salem State, scored 17 points and hit all seven shot attempts from the charity stripe.
Ivy Ramsey nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the first half for UNCP to increase her season total to a team-leading 22. Ramsey is shooting 40 percent this season from beyond the arc.
Think Pink Day
The "Think Pink" initiative is a global, unified effort for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond.
The WBCA began "Think Pink" in 2007 as an initiative to raise breast cancer awareness in women's basketball, on campuses and in communities.
In 2007, more than 120 schools came together for this effort and helped make the inaugural year of the "Think Pink" a success.