No. 13 Benedict Nips ASU
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Benedict's Rickie Jackson swished three free throws with 9.1 seconds left in overtime Monday night to the Tigers to a 62-61 non-conference victory over Augusta State in Mays Arena.
The loss dropped ASU to 1-1 on the young season, while Benedict (1-0), which entered the game ranked No. 13 in the nation, enjoyed a successful season opener.
Senior point guard O'Neal Armstrong notched a team-best 21 points for the Jags, who shot just 34.3 percent for the game. Doby posted his first double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, while Devonte Thomas booked 11 points, including three 3-pointers, and Hill added 10 points off the bench.
Benedict sophomore forward Marcus Goode poured in 30 points on 12-of-15 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds. Jackson had 11 points, including the game winners, to go along with a pair of 3-pointers.
ASU dominated on the boards with a 49-29 rebounding advantage. The Tigers offset that figure by shooting 56.0 percent in the second half and 45.1 percent in the game.
Benedict came out strong to open the second half, scoring eight straight to grab a 28-26 advantage in the first 2:20. Devonte Thomas drained a 3-pointer -- his third of the game -- at the 16:29 mark to move back in front 29-28.
Hill's driving layup off a steal put the Jags ahead 33-31 and Cassius Bell answered with a layup over O'Neal Armstrong for a 33-all tie. Doby's jump hook in the lane with 11:13 remaining before Goode countered with a jumper and then scored on back-to-back layups to give the Tigers a 39-35 lead inside of 9:00
ASU went back in front 45-44 on an Armstrong layup at the 5:31 mark as the teams traded the lead a half dozen times over the final 10 minutes. BC went up 53-49 with 2:01 to go and led 55-51 before Armstrong's floater cut the Jags' deficit to two.
After forcing a turnover on the in-bounds play, Armstrong knotted the game at 55-all again on a jumper in the lane. BC scored first in overtime before a jumper from Armstrong and a Beal layup put the Jags in front 59-56 with 3:45 left.
Beal again scored on a bucket in the lane for a 61-58 lead with 1:55 left after the Tigers cut their deficit to 59-58. Goode missed two free throws and the Jags called timeout with 32.4 seconds to play before Beal's 3-point attempt circled the entire room and both Doby and Hill couldn't connect on putback attempts.
Neither team could get on track offensively early on. ASU raced out to an 8-3 lead before the Tigers answered back to grab a 9-8 lead. Devonte Thomas' drained a pair of treys early in the half and Harold Doby scored the last six points of the first half to put the guests up 26-20 at the break.
ASU outrebounded BC 25-11 in the first half and had more offensive rebounds (12) than the Tigers pulled down overall.
The Jags' six-game road swing continues when they travel to Brunswick, Ga., on Sunday, Nov. 27 to take on Coastal Georgia. Game time is slated for 3:00 p.m., from CCGA's Coffin Gym.