Nov. 30, 2013 AUGUSTA, Ga. – GRU Augusta survived a late Paine rally to hold on for an 80-76 non-conference victory Saturday night in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Paine (4-3) lived by the three-point shot in the first half, shooting 7-of-12 from beyond the arc. Alfonso Davis banked in a trey for Paine’s first lead of the night, but Jags (4-2) senior KJ Sherrill kept it close, leading GRU with 15 points in the opening half and grabbing five rebounds.
The Lions stayed ahead and took a 39-35 halftime score – shooting 58.3 percent from the three line, while GRU was 0-for-7 from downtown. Markees Walker was 3-for-3 shooting the three ball to lead Paine. The Jags outrebounded PC 24-to-13 in the first half and had 18 points in the paint, but only shot 41.2 percent from the floor to the Lions’ 60.0.
Junior Devonte Thomas’ trey from the left corner cut it within three at the start of the second, but Paine held the advantage and pushed it to six with 13:11 left in the game. Junior Ronell Crockett reached 10 points on a contested layup and Devon Wright-Nelson hit a long jumper and layup to keep GRU close. Crockett got to the charity stripe and hit four free throws in back-t0-back possessions to give GRU a 58-56 lead, their first of the second half. Crockett scored eight points in the span that the Jags tied it and took the lead and finished with a career-high 20 points.
Ahead by four after two Keshun Sherrill layups, the Jags let Paine claw back into a one-point affair. KJ Sherrill hit two one-handed jumpers and took a charge to keep GRU up 68-65 with just under five minutes to go. GRU forced a turnover on the next Lion possession and Wright-Nelson barely beat the buzzer to get a three pointer to fall. Paine nailed two treys under a minute to play to keep it interesting, but the Jags hung on for an 80-76 victory.
For the Jags, KJ Sherrill paced all scorers with 23 points and Crockett added 20. Keshun Sherrill added 13 points and Wright-Nelson had 12. Kedric Taylor and Markees Walker each had 15 points and Davis posted 14. GRU shot 44.4 percent for the game to PC’s 61.7 percent. The Jags hit the hardwood on Saturday, Dec. 7 for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff against Lander in the CFH.
**GRU Sports Information release**