AMERICUS, Ga. -- Fifth-ranked Augusta State
captured its second Peach Belt Conference Championship in the last
three seasons Saturday night with a 95-63 victory over Georgia
Southwestern in the Storm Dome.
With Georgia College & State's 73-72 upset of No. 11 USC Aiken in the Convocation Center, the Jaguars won the league title outright with a 17-3 record.
"Winning the conference title over a 20-game schedule is a testament to our players and their perseverance," said ASU head coach Dip Metress, who learned of the Jags' league title as the squad was en route back to Augusta. "We've gotten solid contributions up and down the bench. We've worked in two new starters and the guys have accepted their roles and really performed. We're very proud of our achievement, but there's a lot of season left and we have a lot to still accomplish."
The victory also lifted ASU to a 23-4 overall record, giving the Jags the second-most wins in school history during the regular season and the most since the 1969-70 season.
ASU senior center Garret Siler booked his eighth double-double of the season, registering a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four blocks.
Junior forward Fred Brathwaite turned in 17 points and six rebounds, while junior guard Ben Madgen tallied 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Junior forward Greg Hire had 13 points and seven rebounds.
ASU, which shot 52.7 percent in the game, canned nine 3-pointers – one off its season high -- and set a new season low with just six turnovers. The Jags never trailed in the game and outrebounded GSW 47-28.
With its conference title, ASU earned the No. 1 seed in next week's Peach Belt Conference Tournament in the USCA Convocation Center in Aiken, S.C. The Jags will take on the winner of No. 8 Lander – No. 9 Columbus State on Friday, March 6 at 1:00 p.m.
The schedule for the 2009 Peach Belt Conference Men's Basketball Championship is listed below.