DAHLONEGA, Ga. – In a game that featured four ties in the final 10 minutes, the Lander men's basketball team came up just short at North Georgia, 76-73, on Monday night in a Peach Belt game in Memorial Hall.
Lander falls to 3-6 and 0-2 in PBC play. North Georgia improves to 6-5, (2-0).
JR Washington led the Bearcats with 18 points and four assists, while Clenzo Rossand TJ Knight each finished with career-highs in points. Ross netted 15 and was a career-best 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, while Knight added 10 and seven rebounds, also a career-high.
Tyler Dominy led the Nighthawks with 18 points while Shaquan Cantrell and Ebo Smith each added 15 points.
Lander made 24-of-51 shots from the floor (47.1 percent), 18-of-25 free throws (72 percent), and 7-of-17 from 3-point range (41.2 percent).
North Georgia hit 28-of-68 shots (41.2 percent), 15-of-19 free throws (78.9 percent) and 5-of-24 from behind the arc (20.8 percent).
The Nighthawks had a 40-34 advantage on the boards.
UNG opened the second half on a 6-0 run to take a 46-39 lead with 17:11 to go in the game. A putback from Ephraim Tshimanga gave the Nighthawks their largest lead of the night at 53-46 with 13:58 remaining.
A jumper from Knight pulled the Bearcats within two, 61-59, with 10:10 to go and Lander took its first lead of the half, 66-64, on a layup from Jordan Dingle with 6:57 left in the game.
Chris Tate knocked down a shot to put Lander up 70-66 with 5:11 remaining, but the Nighthawks scored the next five points, capped by a pair of free throws from Dominy to reclaim the lead, 71-70, with 3:11 left to play.
Down 76-71 with just nine seconds left to play, Lander attempted to mount one final rally, as Washington hit a jumper with three seconds left, drawing a foul in the process. Washington missed the ensuing free throw, but Lander collected the rebound and called a timeout, setting up one final possession.
However, Washington's three-pointer was off the mark, allowing the Nighthawks to hang on for the win.