Tuesday Dec. 30, 2008
HICKORY, N.C. – Seventh-ranked Augusta State stormed back from an 18-point deficit in the second half Tuesday for an 82-74 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne on the second day of The Moretz Sports Classic in Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
With the victory, ASU improved to 7-1 on the season and matched the best start by a Jaguar squad since the 1972-73 season. The win also marked ASU’s fourth straight over Lenoir-Rhyne and lifted fifth-year head coach Dip Metress to 5-0 all-time vs. the Bears.
Junior reserve guard Daniel Dixon scored a season-high 20 points – all in the second half – and drilled six 3-pointers as the Jags shot 8-of-8 from long-distance after going 0-for-5 in the first half.
ASU scored a season-high 53 points in the second half and shot 79.2 percent, connecting on 19-of-24 field-goal attempts. The Jags erupted for 47 points over the final 14:27 after trailing 35-29 at the half.
Senior Garret Siler and junior Ben Madgen tallied 18 points each and junior Fred Brathwaite added 11 points, six rebounds and a team-best four assists.
Elliott McDowell registered a game-high 21 points for the Bears, who got 15 points from Marcus Hodges and 12 from Josh Rudder.
ASU trailed 53-35 with 14:27 left in the game after Lenoir-Rhyne opened the second half on an 18-6 run. The Jags scored nine straight points, the last two on a Tye Beal layup, to get within 56-48 with 8:56 to play.
Hodges hit two free throws to put the Bears ahead 58-48 at the 9:15 mark before ASU countered with a 12-0 run that included layups from Siler, Madgen and Beal and two Madgen 3-pointers. A Madgen trey with 6:42 remaining gave the Jags their first lead since the game’s opening minutes.
A pair of Rudder free throws forced a 60-all tie with 5:58 left before ASU answered with an 8-0 spurt that included two Dixon treys. After a Madgen layup gave the Jags a 70-62 advantage at the 4:02 mark, the Bears rattled off a 10-3 spurt to close within one with 1:15 to go.
On ASU’s next possession, Dixon drilled his final trey of the game with 46 seconds left, and Braithwaite and Madgen hit 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch.