Highlights: Augusta, USC Aiken split double-header in season’s first meeting

College Sports

From Augusta University Athletics:

AUGUSTA, Ga. – In a fight for first place in the Peach Belt Conference East Division, the Augusta University men’s basketball team beat the USC Aiken Pacers 71-69 on Monday night in Christenberry Fieldhouse. Augusta leads the PBC standings.

The Jaguars (16-4, 9-3 PBC) shot 50 percent from the floor to USCA’s 35.4 percent. Augusta outrebounded the Pacers (14-6, 8-5 PBC) 39-34, but Aiken made 11-of-30 three pointers (36.7 percent) to AU’s 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) and shot 75 percent at the charity stripe to the Jags’ 67.9 percent.

Augusta meets the Pacers again on Feb. 22 in Aiken, S.C., at the Convocation Center.

Jaguar senior Keshun Sherrill shined with a game-high 23 points and had six rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Deane Williams and junior Tamyrik Fields each had 11 points for the Jags in the win.

USCA was led by Henry Bolton III’s 18 points. Jalin Barnes put up 16 points and Christian Nobles had 10 in the loss.

Augusta opened the night with Sherrill and Tyvez Monroe sinking back-to-back threes. The Jaguars stayed up the entire half and led 32-22 at halftime.

The second-half momentum stayed with AU at the beginning as Deane Williams opened play with a two-handed dunk over a Pacer. USCA was persistent and made it a five-point battle with just over 12 minutes in the second half.

Bolton III made a jumper to tie the game 40-all with 11:20 on the clock. AU regained the lead and momentum when Williams made a pair of free throws and Fields and Sherrill back-to-back baskets.

The lead was 49-46 to the Jags with 7:31 to go in the contest. Monroe came off a screen and Sherrill found him in the corner for the Jags’ sixth trey of the game. On top 62-55 with under three minutes to play, Augusta stayed ahead, but Aiken drilled a three from Bolton to make it 66-64.

AU sophomore Ben Ursich saved a possession when he grabbed a wild pass from going out of bounds. It led to two Sherrill free throws and the Jags rode the home-crowd advantage to a 71-69 victory.

Augusta hosts Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, Feb. 4 against the UNC Pembroke Braves for a 2:30 p.m. tipoff in Christenberry Fieldhouse. The women’s game takes place at 12:30 p.m. prior to the men’s game. Soldiers from Fort Gordon Military Base will the fill the stands of the ‘berry as the Jaguars honor our armed forces for the annual basketball doubleheader.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta University women’s basketball team hosted rival USC Aiken on Monday night in Christenberry Fieldhouse and fell 90-78 in a Peach Belt Conference battle of the east division.

Augusta moved to 10-8 overall and 5-7 in the Peach Belt, while the USCA Pacers moved to 13-9 and 9-4 in the league. The game had nine players in double-figure points.

AU was led by senior Breonna O’Conner‘s 22 points. Abrea Harris scored 15, and Kayla Lovett and Joshlyn Belcher scored 12 each.

The Pacers had five in double-figure points. USCA was led by Rachelle Aupont’s 19 and Carly Gilreath’s 17 points. Kate Duff put in 16 points, Kwajelin Farrar had 14 and Emily Waters notched 10.

USCA shot 50.8 percent from the floor and Augusta shot 46.3 percent. From the three-point line Augusta went 10-for-22 (45.5 percent) and the Pcers 12-for-22 (54.5 percent). Aiken outshot AU at the charity stripe as well – making 12-of-16 (75 percent) and AU 6-for-9 (66.7 percent)

The Jags outscored the Pacers 30-24 in the paint, but USCA’s bench put 52 points to AU’s 31.

USCA held the early lead with Emily Waters connecting for six quick points on three-straight shots, but Augusta’s Tanesha Campbell blocked a shot and found Belcher for a three pointer that made it 13-11.

Aiken led until O’Conner hit a three, a layup, and a free throw after a foul to steal the lead to Augusta. Abrea Harris hit the third trey for AU at the first-period buzzer and Belcher buried another in the second for a 28-22 Jaguar lead.

Augusta kept the advantage for the remainder of the first half and went into the pause up 46-42. Both teams combined for 11 three pointers in the first half, with Belcher going 3-for-6 from the arc to lead the Jags. O’Conner led all scorers with 13 first-half points.

Up by six to begin the second half, AU gave up three opening shots to Aiken as the Pacers stole back the lead. O’Conner tied it 49-all on a free throw, but Rachelle Aupont made two early shots from beyond the arc to keep the visiting team on top.

USCA outscored Augusta 21-12 in the third period to lead 63-58 heading into the final 10 minutes of play. The Jags trailed by seven with under five minutes in the contest and never recovered.

Augusta hosts Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, Feb. 4 against the UNC Pembroke Braves at 12:30 p.m. in Christenberry Fieldhouse. The men’s game follows at 2:30 p.m. Soldiers from Fort Gordon Military Base will the fill the stands of the ‘berry as the Jaguars honor our armed forces.

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