UNC Pembroke comes back to top ASU

ASU basketball
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Saturday, January 5, 2013

PEMBROKE, N.C. -- UNC Pembroke outscored Augusta State 19-6 over the final 5:50 Saturday night and rallied for a 70-64 Peach Belt Conference victory over the 12th-ranked Jaguars in English E. Jones Center.

The loss was the third in the last four games for ASU, which slipped to 7-3 on the season, 3-1 in the PBC and 2-1 in the PBC East Division. The Braves climbed to 9-5 overall and 2-2 in the league with the win.

ASU junior guard Ryan Weems paced the Jags in scoring with 14 points and D’Angelo Boyce tallied 13 points and seven assists. Devon Wright-Nelson posted nine points and a team-best nine rebounds. Devonte Thomas added nine points and Travis Keels chipped in eight.

UNCP’s Shahmel Brackett, a preseason all-conference selection, booked a game-high 23 points that included five 3-pointers. George Blakeney recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards, while Quamain Rose notched 11 points and six assists.

ASU led by as many as 10 in the first half and owned a 29-23 advantage at the half. In a second half that featured five ties and nine lead changes, the Jags used a 6-0 spurt to build a 58-51 lead with 5:50 remaining. The Braves answered with seven straight points – five from Brackett -- to pull even at 58-all with 4:48 left.

The Jags’ shooting struggles continued down the stretch, as they combined to go 3-of-10 from the field and 3-of-8 at the charity stripe. A free throw from Wright-Nelson put ASU up 59-58 with 4:20 to play before Blakeney countered with a layup for a 60-59 Braves’ lead.

Baskets by Boyce and Keels twice gave the Jags a 1-point lead, but each time UNCP had an answer. Keels’ layup gave ASU its last lead at 63-62 at the 3:17 mark. Brackett drained his final trey with 2:35 left to put the Braves up 65-63 as Weems and Wright-Nelson misfired on three 3-point attempts in the final 31 seconds.

The Jags shot 41.8 percent in the game, but just 37 percent in the second half, and connected on only 2-of-16 (12.5 percent) 3-point attempts. The UNCP shot just 37.9 percent from the field but netted a 41-32 advantage in rebounds. Brackett connected on all five of the Braves’ 3-pointers.

ASU returns home to host a “Whiteout” vs. Armstrong Atlantic State on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 3:30 p.m., in Christenberry Fieldhouse.

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