Augusta, Ga. – The Augusta University Men’s Basketball team fell to the Emmanuel Lions 74-71 in a non-conference contest this morning on Education Day. The Jags are now 4-3 on the season while the Lions move to 4-5.
The visitors started off strong, pulling out to a 13-5 lead in the first five minutes of play.
The Lions kept the pressure on for a majority of the half, never allowing the Jags any closer than two scores at any given time. By halftime Emmanuel had a 35-25 advantage over Augusta.
The Lions picked up right where they left off, draining a three-pointer at the start of the second half. Their lead was extended to 15 nearly five minutes into the half. Tyshaun Crawford dropped in a hook shot and, after snagging a defensive rebound, Rafael Monteiro banked one off the board to cut Emmanuel’s lead to five with 11:23 to play.
With the score 45-40, Troy Cracknell picked up a crucial block and followed it up with a three-point laser from the corner. Miguel Arnold followed up Cracknell’s showing with back-to-back three-pointers to give Augusta its first lead of the contest at 49-47 with nine and a half left in regulation.
The lead was short lived, as Emmanuel kicked their offense back up a notch to take the lead 58-53 with 5:36 left in the second half. Reigning PBC Player of the Week, Darren Lucas White, managed to cut the lead back down to one, delivering a layup after slipping around a defender in mid-air, but the Lions refused to surrender the lead.
With 1:41 left in regulation, Arnold, again, proved his ability to be clutch, nocking in his fifth three-point shot of the game to tie things up 67-67. Lucas-White drew a foul with 22 second left and Augusta back down by two. He would sink one of the ensuing free throws forcing the Jags to foul to keep their chances alive.
With Emmanuel back up by three, Augusta turned to Arnold to deliver once again, after a smooth deke around a defender, Arnold pulled up and sank another one from downtown to tie it with 4.7 seconds to go. It would only amount to heartbreak as the Lions hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to win 74-71.
For the game, Augusta was led by Arnold who posted 22 points in the contest. Arnold shot 8-of-16 from the field including a 6-for-11 mark past the three point arch. Crawford narrowly missed out on a double-double, scoring nine points and snagging nine rebounds.
Augusta hosts Paine College for their next game on Saturday, December 7th at 7:30 p.m.