Thursday, December 12, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Up three late in overtime, KJ Sherrill soared in the paint and smacked home a put-back slam, and GRU Augusta made its free throws in the closing seconds to put away Shaw 81-75 in non-conference action Thursday night in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Tied at 72 with two minutes in overtime, Devonte Thomas nailed an open three from the left corner to bring the crowd – and his bench – to its feet. A contested Bears jumper rolled off the rim, prompting Keshun Sherrill to race down the floor and put up a floater in traffic that bounced off the front edge, setting up the elder brother's emphatic jam.
GRU (6-2) held on late despite trailing for a majority of the first and second halves.
Operating quickly in transition, the Bears (1-6) often went one-pass-and-shoot as they found consistent open looks from beyond the arc. Four threes by Andrew Paulk allowed Shaw to open and maintain a six-point lead through most of the opening half until Thomas spurred a 6-0 run and gave the Jags a 32-31 lead heading into the half.
GRU blitzed the Bears with a 6-0 run to open the second period, but Shaw answered in a big way, using two long twos, a three, and a dunk off a tipped pass in transition to answer with a 9-0 run of their own.
But the Jags held in striking distance before pouncing. Thomas hit two free throws, and then Keshun Sherrill caught the Bears napping on an inbounds play for an easy lay-in. Weems followed by getting hacked on a fast-break and drained both from the line to knot things at 65. Finally, Thomas dished to Ronell Crockett moving left to right in the paint, whose bunny gave GRU a 67-65 lead with 1:51 on the clock that held until a late Shaw tip-in to send it to extra time.
The Jags started their fourth different starting lineup in the last five games, relying on KJ's second straight double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting to anchor the offense. Weems and Thomas added 17 points apiece.
Paulk led all Bear scorers with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Curtis Hines tacked on 16.