ASU men outlast Patriots, 69-67

ASU basketball
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta State held off Francis Marion Saturday afternoon for a 69-67 Peach Belt Conference victory for senior night and Homecoming in Christenberry Fieldhouse.

ASU (13-11, 8-9 in PBC) dominated FMU (11-12, 6-10) in the first half, with sophomore Devonte Thomas putting ASU on the board first with two free throws. ASU senior Travis Keels sunk a floater and sophomore Devon Wright-Nelson knocked down a layup for a 6-0 lead.

Sophomore D’Angelo Boyce pushed the lead to 17-6 on a 3-pointer at the top of the arc and freshman Michael Graham gave the Jags a 32-16 advantage at the half, when he completed a three point play and added a layup at the buzzer.

ASU shot 52 percent from the field to FMU’s 25 percent and scored 12 points in the paint to the Pats’ six. Thomas notched 10 points and Boyce added eight with the two shooting 2-for-3 from 3-point land in the opening half. FMU hit 2-of-12 from beyond the arc, while the Jags shot 4-of-8.

ASU came out of the whistle strong, but FMU’s Evrik Gary completed a four-point play to make it 39-33. Minutes later Boyce hit a trey to put the Jags up 43-36. With seven minutes remaining Tyler Deihl hit a 3-pointer and a jumper from Gary made it a four-point game.

The Pats hit two treys with under a minute to play and sunk two from the charity stripe to make it a three-point affair. ASU missed two from the free line to put the game away, but FMU couldn’t get the 3-pointer off in time for ASU’s victory.

Thomas paced the Jags with 17 points, draining three treys, while Wright-Nelson notched 16 points and eight boards and Boyce added 14 points and nine assists. ASU shot 51 percent in the game to FMU’s 45 percent and outrebounded the Pats 37-21.

ASU travels to conference-rivals USC Aiken on Saturday, Feb. 23 for a 5:30 p.m. PBC tipoff.

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