Friday March 6, 2009
AIKEN – The top-seeded Augusta State Jaguars put on a three-point shooting clinic Friday afternoon en route to their 97-78 quarterfinal victory over eighth-seeded Lander in the Peach Belt Conference tournament at USC Aiken’s Convocation Center.
The Jaguars, who are ranked fifth nationally and improve to 24-4, netted a PBC tournament record 17 three pointers. ASU, scored a season-high 56 points in the first half and connected on 60.7 percent of their its shots for the game, earns the right to play the Georgia College/North Georgia winner in Saturday’s 6 p.m. semifinal. Lander finishes the season at 13-16.
Ben Madgen scored 19 of his game-high 24 points to lead all scorers as he connected on 8-of-12 field goals, including 6-of-8 threes, and dished off eight assists. Daniel Dixon was 5-of-8 from behind the arc and netted 19 points with six rebounds and four assists; while Garret Siler added 16 points and nine rebounds; and Caleb Brown had 10 points.
Houston Wright led the Bearcat with 19 points, while Darius Johnson added 14, Jacob Machoskay 12 and Ford Lawrence 11. Brent Harris led Lander in rebounds with 10. The two teams combined for 19-of-31 three pointers in the first half, with ASU taking a 56-36 halftime lead keyed by 12-of-20 threes.
The Bearcats took an early 2-0 lead at 18:38 and the two teams were tied three times before the Jaguars broke away on Madgen’s three-pointer to make it 9-6 with 15:57 left in the half.
ASU’s Brown and Dixon each hit threes to stretch the lead to 21-12 at 10:25, then the Jags took their first double-digit lead at 9:42 on a Siler’s field goal to make it 23-12. ASU went on an 11-2 run to take a 37-17 lead on Dixon’s steal and layup.
The Jags closed the first half with two baskets in the final four seconds after Dixon stroked a three-pointer then Smith stole the inbounds pass for a bucket at the buzzer.
ASU went inside to Siler and Fred Brathwaite early in the second half before Smith and Brown nailed threes en route to the Jags’ biggest lead of 26 points – 70-44 at 15:59.
For the game, ASU connected on 37-of-61 field goals for 60.7 percent, including 17-o-f-29 three-pointers for 58.6 percent. The Jaguars also made 6-of-10 free throws for 60 percent.
Lander was 29-of-70 from the field for 41.4 percent, including 9-of-24 three pointers for 37.5 percent. The Bearcats sank 11-of-14 foul shots for 78.6 percent. Augusta outrebounded Lander, 37-34.