The No. 16 Augusta University men’s basketball team had its 15-game win streak snapped on Tuesday night in the NCAA Southeast Region Championship game, falling to tournament-host and top-seeded No. 10 Queens, 91-78, in The Levine Center. Augusta had not lost a game in 48 days.
Augusta finishes the season 28-6 for the third most wins in school history. The Jags won 29 games in 2010 and 30 in 2009 and 2011. This is the ninth 20-win season for head coach Dip Metress and the 15th 20-win season for AU all time. Metress is now 19-9 in the NCAA Tournament with the Jaguars. In their 12th trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Jaguars won back-to-back overtime games in the quarterfinal and semifinal games to get to the finals.
After leading the Jaguars for four years together, seniors Aaron Byrd, Tyvez Monroe, and Deane Williamscompeted in their final game for Augusta. Williams had four blocks in the first four minutes of the game and swatted seven total shots in the first half alone. At the half, Williams had 12 points and seven rebounds and blocks. He finished with 25 points, nine blocks, and eight rebounds.
Jags junior Rafael Monteiro had seven of AU’s first nine points and finished with 17. Freshman Tyree Myers also had 17 points for Augusta. Williams and Monteiro were named to the NCAA All-Southeast Region Tournament team.
In their fifth appearance all time in the region championship game, the Jaguars battled back-and-forth as each team answered three pointers to open the game. Williams blocked a pair of back-to-back shots in the same possession and Monteiro scored the first five points for Augusta as the Jags lead 9-6 after the first four minutes of play. Queens led 21-20 after 10 minutes of action and a three pointer at the 5:35 mark lifted the Royals on top by seven. Myers answered with a trey at the top of the key and AU rallied into a one-point affair with 3:30 to till the half. Queens took a 39-38 lead into the half.
An alley-oop from Queens started the second half, but Monroe tied the game for AU on a three pointer and freshman Miguel Arnold followed with another deep ball. The lead changed 11 times in the game. Up 61-54 at the second media timeout, the Royals got two big stops and drove the floor for a fast-break, crowd-igniting dunk to go up 11 with 10:00 remaining. Another Arnold three pointer for Augusta stopped Queens’ run, but QU still owned a 10-point advantage with just under five minutes left.
Queens’ Shaun Willett scored a quick 12 points in the opening half and ended with 33 to help guide the Royals to the win.