Dec. 14, 2013 AUGUSTA, Ga. – Buoyed by their strongest defensive effort of the season, the GRU Augusta Jaguars moved to 7-2 on the year with a 74-63 non-conference victory over Emmanuel.
The Jags gave up a season-low in points, holding the visiting Lions (10-3) to 38.2% shooting from the floor and just 7-of-25 from behind the arc as they continued to force longer attempts on the defensive side.
The defense made up for a struggling offense that had issues until 10:22 left in the game, when Emmanuel closed it within one and a full team effort over the next four minutes blew things open.
Jags freshman Keshun Sherrill got things started by hitting two free throws, and then stole the ensuing inbound pass to find D'Angelo Boyce open for a six-footer. A minute later, Boyce found KJ Sherrill inside for a two-handed slam, and Devon Wright-Nelson swished an open jumper from the right side. Finally, Ryan Weems knocked down a three and hit both free throws on the ensuing possession, and GRU found themselves up 67-53 with just over five minutes left to coast down the stretch.
Both teams struggled with turnovers and missed opportunities in the opening minutes as Emmanuel struggled to an 11-9 opening advantage. Neither team broke away until the nine-minute mark, when Devonte Thomas, Ryan Weems, and D'Angelo Boyce all hammered home threes, igniting a 16-2 run to give the Jaguars a 30-17 lead. But the Lions battled, firing off a 12-2 run of their own in the waning minutes of the first half to take a one-point lead before KJ Sherrill followed with a last-second bucket to give GRU a 37-36 halftime advantage.
The Jags shot a season-high nine threes, paced by Weems (18 points) and Keshun Sherrill (15). Wright-Nelson (11 points, 9 rebounds) and Boyce (11 points) also had strong nights.
Michael Stanley paced the Lions with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
GRU takes to the road for a PBC matchup at Montevallo Tuesday, December 17 at 8:30 p.m. before returning home to host Mount Olive Sunday, December 22 at 4:00.