FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 12-22-02

2002 Chatham Orthopaedics Basketball Christmas Classic
Day Two Wrap-Up

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Armstrong Atlantic State women's basketball team picked up its second win over a Top 25-ranked team this month by defeating No. 21 Fort Valley State, 89-73, in the final day of the 2002 Chatham Orthopaedics Basketball Christmas Classic on Saturday.

The Lady Pirates (6-1) opened up a nine-point halftime lead, 38-29, behind 11 first-half points from Classic MVP Tishay Lewis and 10 points from Vandy Noldon, then led by as many as 21 points in the second half in handing Fort Valley State (8-1) its first loss of the season. Lewis wound up with 24 points and earned All-Classic honors along with fellow teammate Zandrique Cason. Cason had 12 points, nine rebounds and had a blocked shot that made her AASU's all-time leading blocked shot artist, passing Dina Mulholland with 63 career blocks for the Lady Pirates. Maria Willis led all scorers for Fort Valley State with 27 points and earned All-Classic honors, along with teammate Sherika Tarpkins. The win was also AASU's first over Fort Valley State in 11 tries in school history.

The Armstrong Atlantic State men's team fell to the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears in the Classic's final game, 77-42, setting an all-time Pirate record for the lowest offensive output in a game. Lenoir-Rhyne (6-2) shot 59 percent from the floor in the victory and was led by Ryan Pitts' 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Randy Mauldin chipped in 14. AASU (1-7), who was led by Daryl Williams' 10 points, previously scored a single-game low 43 points in a 52-43 loss to College of Charleston on Dec. 21, 1999.

In the first game of the day, Francis Marion (5-4) and Wingate's women's teams hooked up in a double-overtime thriller that the Bulldogs pulled out, 84-81. Wingate's Jessica Guarneri hit a last-second three-pointer - her first trey of the season - in the first overtime to tie the game at 72-all and send it to a second extra frame. Neither team led by more than two in the overtime frame and a free

throw by Wingate's Karatina Gotovac put the Bulldogs up 82-81, and following two FMU misses, Ginny Boggess added two more free throws to give Wingate (7-2) an 84-81 advantage with 11 seconds left. Michelle Ghere missed two three-point attempts in the final seconds as FMU failed to force a third overtime session. Johnson led the Patriots with 25 points and 12 rebounds, earning All-Classic honors, while Guarneri and Veronica Taylor each earned All-Classic honors for the Bulldogs.

In the first men's game, Eckerd College forced 25 UNC Pembroke turnovers and held the Braves to just 33 percent shooting from the floor in picking up the 72-46 victory and going 2-0 in the classic, along with Lenoir-Rhyne. The Tritons (10-1) were led by Steve Berg's 14 points and Sherrod McCree's 12 points, while UNC Pembroke (0-8) received 17 points from Matt Hubbard.

The Lady Pirates are next in action on Monday, December 30 as they host Valdosta State at 7:00 p.m. AASU's men's team is next in action on Thursday, January 2 at 7:30 p.m. against Francis Marion.

- Pirates -