Saturday, March 2, 2013
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Augusta State junior guard Ryan Weems scored a game-high 24 points Saturday afternoon and the Jaguars closed the regular season with a 56-40 Peach Belt Conference road win over Flagler.
With the victory, ASU wrapped up the regular season with a 14-12 mark and finished 9-10 in the PBC. The Jags sewed up the No. 4 seed in the PBC’s East Division heading into next week’s conference tournament in Columbus, Ga. ASU will face Montevallo in the quarterfinals of the PBC Championships on Friday, March 8 in Columbus, Ga., at the Lumpkin Center on the CSU campus.
The win also secured the Jags’ ninth straight winning season under ninth-year head coach Dip Metress and the 15th consecutive winning season overall for Metress, who spent eight seasons as head coach of his alma mater, Belmont Abbey College.
“Call the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and tell them look who’s coming for dinner,” Metress said. “This victory was for Travis Keels -- plain and simple. To win 90 games in four years in your college career is pretty special, and he’s the kind of kid who deserves to go out like this. Hopefully we’ve got a few more finishes like this in store for him.”
ASU sophomores Devon Wright-Nelson and D’Angelo Boyce each turned in 10 points, and Boyce handed out six assists. Weems shot 6-of-9 from the field and nailed three 3-pointers. His 24 points marked his ninth effort of 20 or more points this season.
Ante Gospic was the lone Saint to reach double figures in scoring, finishing with 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Jags, who never trailed, shot 53.3 percent in the second half and 48.6 percent for the game. Flagler managed just 28.9 percent shooting from the field, including only 23.1 percent in the first half. ASU owned the edge in rebounds, 31 to 21.
Wright-Nelson swished a 3-pointer on the Jags’ first possession as they jumped ahead 7-0, forcing a Flagler timeout. A layup from Roman Hill gave ASU its first double-digit lead at 15-4 and Williams followed with a trey for an 18-4 advantage at the 7:36 mark. The Jags led by as many as 17 on a Weems’ triple with 2:19 left in the half.
Flagler got as close as 10 of the lead 3:00 into the second half before ASU answered with eight in a row. The Jags grabbed their biggest lead of the game on a Boyce jumper with 9:25 remaining.
The Saints’ 40 points, and 14 first-half points, were a season low for a Jaguar opponent.