Jags Win Showdown with USC Aiken

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Monday Jan. 5, 2009
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Kingsley Oguchi with two steals became the all-time steals leader in school history, but the two steals were not enough for the Pacers as they fell 87-76 to No. 7 Augusta State before a crowd of 3,109 at Christenberry Fieldhouse on Monday evening.

Oguchi (Houston, Texas/George Bush) now has 10 steals on the 2008-09 season, leaving him with 125 steals in his career at the end of the Augusta State loss. Oguchi’s 125 career thefts helped him pass Kendrick Smith (124 – 1994-98) for the all-time mark in school history.

Javonte Clanton (Columbus, Ohio/Blinn College) led the Pacers in the loss to the nationally-ranked Jaguars with a career-best 24 points. Clanton has now set his career high in three consecutive games. The 24 points against ASU helped him score 20 or more for the second straight outing.

Clanton was 7-for-12 from the field in the contest, connecting on four of his six three-point attempts. He was 6-for-8 in the game from the charity stripe.

Three Pacers scored in double figures in the loss with preseason All-American Chris Commons (Toledo, Ohio/Findlay) scoring 15 and Cordaryl Ballard (Westerville, Ohio/Morehead State) posting 16. Ballard was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the game, while Commons was 7-for-16. Commons had a team-high two blocks in the game.

Augusta State’s Ben Madgen guided the Jaguar attack in the victory over the second-ranked Pacers, scoring a game-high 33 points. Madgen was 11-for-14 from the floor, 4-for-6 from beyond the arc and 7-for-8 from the charity stripe in the victory.

Fred Braithwaite chipped in another 19 for the Jaguars.

The Pacers were able to subdue preseason All-American Garret Siler for 10 points. Siler, who was in foul trouble for the majority of the contest, was still a perfect 4-for-4 from the field.

The Jaguars shot 60 percent in the game, making 27 of their 45 shot attempts in the victory. USC Aiken shot over 40 percent at 42.2 percent, hitting 27 of their 64 shot attempts

In a game that had a combined 47 fouls, the Pacers hit 17 free throws compared to Augusta State’s 27 made free throws. The Jaguars had seven more chances (33-26) than the Pacers though at the charity stripe.

That would in the end prove to be one of the deciding factors as both teams both were able to finish with 27 field goals, albeit with Augusta State able to hit one more three-pointer (6-5) than the Pacers.

The loss snaps a 14-game Peach Belt Conference winning streak for the Pacers. The Pacers, who are now 7-3 overall and 2-1 in PBC play, are 22-2 against league foes over the last two seasons.

Augusta State controlled the action early in the game, going up by as many as 13 points with 11:12 left in the first half. The Pacers hung tough though, pulling the game back to single digits just under two minutes later. Oguchi helped the Pacers get back to single digits in the game by miraculously putting in an acrobatic lay-up that he was fouled on. He made the free throw to cut the lead to 26-18 in Augusta State’s favor with nine minutes left in the first half.

Both teams came out scorching from the field in the game with the Pacers shooting 53.8 percent in the first 10-plus minutes and the Jaguars shooting 61.1 percent during the same time frame.

The Pacers would control the play for the latter part of the first half, cutting the ASU advantage to six points at 41-35 with a minute to play in the first stanza. USC Aiken would end the half down by eight points at 43-35.

The second half started much as the first with the Jaguars racing out to extend their lead. This time however the Jaguars were able to push their lead even farther to 15 points with a little under 16 minutes left in the game.