“Everybody hustled tonight and really finished strong,” said Miller. “This is the first game it felt like we got a lead and truly finished it out.”
Miller went 10-of-19 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the non-region win against the four-year college.
The Cats shot 80 percent from the free-throw line, a number the Cats have not come close to all season long.
“We put up a ton of free-throws and shots from the field in practice yesterday,” said Georgia Northwestern men’s head coach David Stephenson.
The Bobcat coaching staff has been using the non-region games in November and December to find what combinations work best on the court before NJCAA Region XVII play begins Jan. 5.
Georgia Northwestern guard Hunter Ivester, a former Trion player, played an instrumental role tonight scoring 18 points, pulling down eight boards and stealing the ball five times. His key moment coming in the final minute of play when on the back end of two free throws he was awarded missed its mark and he sprawled out across the paint to fight for a loose ball and help the Cats stay on top.
Former Model player Fernando Lemus Jr. is returning after a season-ending knee injury early last year in his freshman year. Justin Dempsey is a sophomore Bobcat returning to the active roster for region play beginning with Southern Crescent Tech on January 5.
Tennessee Temple’s Karlos Richard led the Crusaders with 19 on the night. After shooting 60 percent from the field in the first half to help take a 40-38 lead going into the half, the Crusaders saw the Cats offense take off in the second half.
“We put up nearly 50 points in the second half and finished with 85 on the scoreboard. We’ll win a lot of games if we can keep that pace up,” said Stephenson.
Georgia Northwestern (5-7) saw its free-throw shooting shine in the clutch as former Model player Quinton Cotton hit a key pair of free throws with three seconds remaining to seal the win for the Cats.
The National Fastpitch Coaches Assoication already recognized the Vikings’ team for its academic prowess. Now, the NFCA has honored nine Berry softballers for their individual excellence in the classroom.
To earn All-America Scholar Athlete designation, a student-athlete must achieve a 3.50 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), during the previous academic year. The Berry softball team members achieving the distinction for 2012 are Denice Aleman, Lindsey Campbell, Andrea Cole, Kelsy Dawsey, Hailley Oxner, Kristen Stoll, Sara Vigue, Kim Treese and Jessica Washington.
The Vikings, coached by Cori Thiermann, earned a 3.435 team grade point average in 2011-12, giving it the 22nd best team GPA in NCAA Division III. There are nearly 450 colleges and universities that compete at the Division III level.
Berry, which finished 25-11 last year, opens the 2013 season on Feb. 16 when Piedmont visits for a doubleheader.