ASU women fall in Peach Belt Conference tournament

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Wednesday March 4, 2009

AIKEN, S.C. - Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year Phebe Smith scored a game-high 35 points to lead seventh-seeded Columbus State University to an opening round 82-79 win over tenth-seeded Augusta State University, Wednesday afternoon (March 4) in the 2009 PBC Women’s Basketball Tournament in Aiken, S.C.

Columbus State (18-13) advances to face second-seeded Clayton State University in a quarterfinal game on Thursday at 5 p.m. Augusta state, which has dropped nine of its last ten opening tournament games, ends its season at 5-23.

The first half went back-and-forth with five lead changes. ASU shot 44.4 percent from three-point range to keep the game tight as junior guard Eboni Davis was a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the arc. Davis finished with seven three-pointers to tie a PBC single game tournament record. Augusta State held a 37-36 advantage at the break.

The second half saw big runs by both sides. ASU scored nine of the first 13 points of the second half to lead 46-40 at the 17:04 mark. The Lady Cougars answered with a 26-9 run over the next 10 minutes to take a 66-55 lead with 7:20 left in the contest. ASU answered with a 16-5 run to tie the game at 71 with 3:40 remaining. The Lady Jaguars had two chances to tie the game in the final 20 seconds but were unable to score. Columbus State’s Nikki Urbizo threw the ball away with under 30 seconds to play, but then stole the subsequent inbounds pass and scored to provide the winning margin.

Smith connected on 13-of-24 shots and 9-of-15 from the free throw line to finish two points shy of the PBC Tournament single game scoring record of 37 set by former CSU standout Que Gulliam in 1997. Smith also grabbed eight rebounds while Urbizo scored 10 points to join Smith in double figures. Hali Moore pulled down 12 rebounds. Columbus State shot only 36% from the field but 23 of their 44 rebounds were on the offensive glass.