Sunday, December 2, 2012
RICHMOND, Va. -- Augusta State raced out to a 12-point halftime lead and made it stand up Sunday afternoon, defeating Virginia Union 73-67 in a non-conference matchup at Barco-Stevens Hall.
With the victory, the Jaguars improved to 4-0 and notched their first road win of the season. The Panthers, a three-time National Champion, dropped to 0-4 for first time since the 1963-64 season.
Junior guard Ryan Weems came off the bench to pace ASU in scoring for the third straight game with 19 points. Sophomore guards D’Angelo Boyce and Devonte Thomas tallied 12 points each and Chad July grabbed a team-best 11 rebounds. Devon Wright-Nelson, who started despite a calf strain, chipped in nine points and nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals and Boyce handed out six assists.
The Jags overcame a sluggish start when they trailed by as much as six in the first 3:25 of the game. The ASU bench came up big, outscoring Union 28-2 in the first half. Weems canned a pair of 3-pointers en route to 15 points, while freshman forward Michael Graham (seven) and sophomore forward Roman Hill (four) combined for 11 points.
Plagued by foul trouble, the Jags saw their 43-31 lead dwindled to just four after Union opened the second half on a 12-4 run in the first 5:04. Damion Harris, who registered a double-double with 29 points and 10 rebounds, capped the spurt with a dunk at the 14:56 mark.
ASU pushed its advantage back to 56-50 on a trey from Boyce at the 6:50 mark before Union countered with five in a row to get within three. After the teams exchanged misses from the charity stripe, a pair of Xavier Carter free throws pulled the Panthers even at 60-all with 4:31 remaining.
Wright-Nelson hit 1-of-2 free-throw attempts and following a VUU turnover, Thomas drained a trey from the left baseline in front of the ASU bench for a 64-60 lead with 3:00 to play. Boyce snagged a loose ball and went in for an uncontested layup to put the Jags up 66-60 with 1:58 left and ASU hit 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to ice the victory.
The Jags lift the lid on their Peach Belt Conference schedule next weekend when they travel to Greenwood, S.C., to take on Lander on Saturday, Dec. 8. Tip off from Horne Arena is slated for 3:30 p.m.