Jags hold off Francis Marion for sixth win in a row

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Wednesday Feb. 18, 2009

FLORENCE, S.C. – Augusta State withstood a second-half rally from Francis Marion Wednesday, outlasting the Patriots for an 80-77 Peach Belt Conference road win in Smith University Center.

With the victory, the sixth-ranked Jaguars (20-4, 14-3) extended their winning streak to a season-high six games. The win gave ASU three straight 20-win seasons for only the second time in school history. ASU’s 71 combined victories over the last three seasons are the most over any three-year span in school history.

The victory was ASU’s ninth straight in the series with FMU and its fifth straight win in Florence.

Junior guard Ben Madgen, the PBC’s leading scorer, tallied a game-high 20 points and handed out five assists. Junior forward Fred Brathwaite registered 17 points and eight rebounds while senior center Garret Siler booked his seventh double-double of the season with 16 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks. Sophomore guard Caleb Brown netted 11 points, including three 3-pointers, off the bench.

Anthony Wallen paced four Patriots (15-9, 8-9) in double figures with 15 points. David Turner and Matt French turned in 13 and 12 points, respectively, off the bench and Kevin Clark added 10 points.

The Jags, who led 34-33 at halftime, shot 50 percent in the second half and moved out to a 50-37 lead after a pair of Greg Hire free throws with 12:50 remaining.

The Patriots countered with a 14-4 run over a span of 4:05 before ASU’s Greg Hire stemmed the tide with a jumper. After a Daniel Dixon trey put ASU ahead 59-53 at the 7:33 mark, FMU rattled off seven straight points to grab a 60-59 lead on two French free throws with 6:05 left.

A free throw from Dixon and a Siler tip-in off a Brathwaite missed jumper moved the Jags back in front. Two free throws from FMU’s Houston Power knotted the game at 62-all with 5:12 to play. After Dixon and Wallen swapped treys, Madgen and Brathwaite combined for eight straight points.