AUGUSTA, Ga. (GRU-Augusta Sports Information)– Consecutive threes from senior Brooke McCants and freshman Tavia Sykes spurred an 8-2 run to break open a steady second half and secure the GRU Augusta Jaguars a 65-51 Peach Belt Conference victory over Lander Saturday night in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
The Jaguars (4-3, 1-0 PBC) maintained a slim lead through most of the second period as the visiting Bearcats (4-4, 0-1) couldn't seem to find enough to take a lead. Finally, back-to-back threes by McCants and Sykes broke it open enough for the home team to coast the rest of the way.
GRU used crisp ball movement and speed in transition throughout the second half, taking the ball in the lane and drawing multiple Bearcat fouls. The Jags enjoyed a 22-9 free-throw edge on a night when both teams clamped down to prevent open jumpers.
After sprinting to an early four point lead on quick jumpers by McCants and Kelsey Fynaardt, Lander embarked on a 10-0 run highlighted by intense Bearcat defense that forced three consecutive GRU turnovers. But the Jaguars battled, chipping away at the lead as McCants and J’ Ashby found their offensive stroke to keep the Jags in striking distance. Finally, a Whitney Rohrbach block led to a Fynaardt transition jumper for a 26-25 lead, keying a 7-1 GRU run with Rohrbach scoring four straight to end the half with a 32-26 lead they never relinquished.
Ashby and Sykes paced the Jaguar attack with 14 points apiece, while McCants added 12. Becky Newhouse notched eight rebounds and a team-high five assists on a night that saw GRU assist on 14-of-19 made field goals. Portia McCray led the Bearcats with 12 points, and Alexis Armstrong grabbed 12 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass.