AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Augusta State shot 64 percent
in the first half Monday night and opened its Peach Belt Conference
schedule with an 80-68 victory over Georgia College & State in
With the victory, the third-ranked Jaguars improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the PBC. The Bobcats, who entered the game averaging more than 103 points per game, dropped to 4-1 overall and 0-1 in the league.
The win marked ASU's fifth straight in the series with GCSU and improved to the Jaguars to 30-7 in conference play under fifth-year head coach Dip Metress.
Junior guard Ben Madgen led six Jaguars in double figures with 14 points. Fellow juniors Daniel Dixon and Fred Brathwaite netted 13 points each, while Greg Hire, Garret Siler and Caleb Brown booked 10 points each. Hire registered his second double-double in as many games, grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds.
Shaun Keaton tallied a game-high 18 points for GCSU, which connected on 11 3-pointers in the contest but shot just 36.4 percent from the field. Ken Kemp and Justin Brown chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
ASU jumped ahead with a 19-2 run midway through the first half with Brathwaite giving the Jags a 31-13 lead on a jumper at the 7:05 mark. After the Bobcats got within 13, ASU closed the half on a 9-3 run to open up a 48-29 lead – it's largest of the game -- at halftime.
The Bobcats fought back early in the second half, outscoring ASU 15-4 to close within 52-44 on a Josh Hurst jumper at the 13:51 mark. The Jags pushed their lead back to as much as 15 on a Siler free throw before GCSU answered with a 10-0 spurt. Keaton capped the run with a pair of free throws to cut the Bobcat deficit to 65-60 with just 3:03 remaining.
On ASU's next possession, Dixon drilled a 3-pointer with the shot clock running down and Hire added two free throws to give the Jags a 70-60 cushion. ASU scored its last 12 points from the free throw line as the visitors fouled to extend the game.
ASU hit a season-high 26-of-29 free throws and connected on eight treys. The Jags outrebounded GCSU 40-32 and received a season-high 29 points from their bench.
ASU returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 20 when it travels to Bowie, Md., to take on the Bowie State Bulldogs at 6:00 p.m.