Saturday, March 2, 2013
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Augusta State senior forward Taylor Ayers scored the go-ahead basket with 47 seconds left and the Lady Jaguars closed the regular season Saturday with a 71-68 Peach Belt Conference overtime road win at Flagler.
With the win, ASU clinched the PBC’s East Division title outright and climbed to 21-5 overall and 14-5 in the PBC. The Lady Jags equaled the 1992-93 and 2003-04 ASU squads for the most regular-season wins in school history. Flagler, which had already qualified for the PBC Tournament for the first time in its five seasons as a PBC member, dropped to 14-12 on the year and finished 10-9 in the league.
Ayers and junior point guard Tanchelle Hollingsworth paced ASU with 16 points each. Senior forward Laci Schreiber netted 10 points and junior guard Becky Newhouse grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Senior guard Brittany White, who found Ayers open in the lane for the go-ahead basket, booked seven assists and six steals.
Shorty Spencer tallied a game-high 27 points for the Saints and Jen Knurek booked 22 points and nine boards.
Both teams got off to blistering starts, with Flagler grabbing a 23-22 lead at the 8:32 mark of the first half on 64 percent shooting. ASU took a 31-29 lead on Hollingsworth’s third trey of the half with 4:51 left and Eryka Menzies’ jumper put ASU up 33-29 with 3:33 remaining. The Lady Jags went scoreless the rest of the way but still lead 33-31 at the half.
In a contest that featured 12 ties and 16 lead changes, ASU led by as many as six midway through the second half, but could never pull away. The Lady Jags owned a 61-58 advantage after a Jemimah Ashby jumper with 3:41 left. Christina Brown’s layup got the Saints within 61-60 and Spencer hit two free throws with 30 seconds left to give Flagler its first lead since the 18:08 mark at 62-61.
After a timeout, ASU ran the clock down and Hollingsworth found Tiffany Jaecks open inside for a 3-point play, putting the Jags back in front 63-62 with just seven seconds remaining. The Saints’ Spencer took the inbounds pass and rushed up the left side of the floor. She pulled on the left wing and swished the jumper, knotting the game at 64-all with :0.9 left to force overtime.
The Saints scored first in the extra period on a Spencer steal and layup. Jaecks hit 1-of-2 free throws before White picked Spencer’s pocked and went in for an uncontested layup and a 67-66 lead. Knurek canned a pair from the charity stripe to put the Saints back ahead with 1:23 left
Following a pair of missed Saints’ free throws, ASU ran the clock down before White penetrated to find Ayers wide open underneath for a the go-ahead basket with 47 seconds left. Hollingsworth and Becky Newhouse added free throws and Spencer’s game-tying attempt at the buzzer hit the rim but fell off to the side.
The Lady Jags are back in action on Thursday, March 7 when they tip off the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference Championships at 5:00 p.m., in the Lumpkin Center.