All Eyes On March
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Having posted two of the top seasons in their respective program’s histories, the Augusta State men’s and women’s basketball teams have now turned their attention to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament next weekend in Aiken, S.C.
Just one win away from their fourth 20-win season in school history, the Lady Jaguars clinched a share of the PBC regular-season championship with Saturday’s 104-55 Senior Day victory over Georgia Southwestern. The conference title was the first for ASU since finishing the 1994-95 season as league co-champions with USC Upstate and Columbus State.
The Lady Jags, who will enter the tourney as the No. 3 seed, caught fire down the stretch with wins in four of their last six and nine of their last 12 games. ASU will face sixth-seeded Columbus State in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 4 at 3:00 p.m., in the USCA Convocation Center. The Lady Jags split with CSU during the regular season, winning 66-57 at home on Feb. 4 and falling 71-64 last week in Columbus.
By virtue of its 13-7 conference mark and 19-8 overall mark, ASU earned its first bye in the league tourney since 2005. The Lady Jags are 11-14 all-time in the PBC Tournament and have faced CSU more times than any team in the league, going 1-5 against the Lady Cougars.
The ASU men’s squad, currently ranked eighth in the NABC national poll and the No. 1 team in the NCAA’s South Atlantic Region, will enter the PBC Tournament as the No. 2 seed after finishing the regular season 17-3 in league play and 22-5 overall.
The Jags earned a first-round bye and will face the winner of Clayton State and UNC Pembroke in the quarterfinal round on Friday, March 7 at 1:00 p.m. ASU is making its 17th conference tournament appearance and owns a 17-14 tournament record since joining the league for the 1991-92 season.
The Jags, who were eliminated by Clayton State 72-69 in the semifinals of the 2007 PBC tourney in Greenwood, S.C., are 3-3 under fourth-year head coach Dip Metress in the tournament. ASU has won two tournament titles, winning back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002. The Jags are 9-6 all-time in the quarterfinal round of the tourney, including last season’s 91-82 victory over Georgia College & State.