Friday, February 7, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ga. – The GRU Augusta Jaguars scored a season high in points and set a Peach Belt Conference Tournament record with 35 free-throws attempted in their 99-87 victory over North Georgia in quarterfinal action Friday afternoon in Columbus, Ga.
The No. 2 seed in the east, GRU Augusta (23-6) took the opening lead off of PBC All-Conference first-team senior KJ Sherrill’s jumper, but the Nighthawks (12-14) nailed a trey to keep the game close and set the tone of the first half. Both teams answered bucket-for-bucket as the game never left a six-point advantage into the second media timeout under 8:00 minutes.
Senior All-Conference honoree Ryan Weems made a running layup for a 23-all game with 6:10 to go in the first, but Andrew Lawrence’s jumper kept UNG up by a basket. The Jaguars stayed focused on getting to the rim and were ahead by one with under 15 seconds in the first half, when Devon Wright-Nelson made a jumper to give the ball to the Nighthawks with seven to go. Roman Hill stole the inbound pass from UNG and found Weems for a wide-open layup to give GRU a 41-36 lead at the halftime buzzer. The Jags scored 15 points from the bench in the first and had 22 points in the paint.
GRU held the advantage for the first minutes out of the break, but Lamar Richardson hit one of his three treys to bring the game within two. The Nighthawks tied the game 48-all on Brian Cole’s layup at 15:26. It was still a one-point game after UNG’s Ishmael Hollis’ two free throws, but the Jags turned it on for the remaining 10 minutes to go up by as much as 11, ending the game with an onslaught of free throws. With 4:43 to go, Weems hit two at the line to keep GRU up by 10 where they would hold on for the 99-87 win.
GRU shot 87.5 percent from the charity stripe – making 35-of-40 free throws (second best on the year) and shot 51.7 percent from the floor to UNG’s 40.9. The PBC Freshman of the Year, Keshun Sherrill led the Jags with 25 points and had four assists while making all 10 of his free throws. Weems scored 23, making 9-of-10 free throws and KJ Sherrill notched a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.