Lander Edges Jags In Thriller
GREENWOOD, S.C. – Corey Wright's layup with three seconds left lifted Lander to a 74-72 Peach Belt Conference victory over Augusta State Wednesday night in Finis Horne Arena.
The Bearcats, who entered the contest as the fourth-place team in the PBC East Division, improved to 17-8 and 10-7 in the league and sealed a berth in the PBC Basketball Championships.
The Jags suffered their third straight road loss and slipped to 15-10 overall and 11-6 in the conference. With the setback, ASU is now tied for second place in the division with UNC Pembroke, which beat Flagler 76-71 on Sunday.
Dennis Rumph hit a baseline jumper with 26 seconds remaining to put Lander ahead 72-70. ASU freshman guard Devonte Thomas swished a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left to forge a 72-all tie. The Bearcats decided not to call a timeout and Wright drove to left wing and after a shot fake, got free underneath for the winning basket.
The loss overshadowed a career night from Thomas, who poured in a career-best 27 points on the strength of five 3-pointers. Devon Wright-Nelson turned in 16 points, O'Neal Armstrong notched 11 points and five assists and Harold Doby pitched in 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Pruett popped in 21 for the Bearcats, including four treys. Wright tallied 16 points, nine assists and three steals while Dwight Tolbert and Jermel Kennedy had 13 and 12 points, respectively.
The Bearcats shot 56.8 percent for the game, including 68.4 percent in the second half.
ASU shot 48.3 percent from the field and hit 14-of-26 shots in the second half (53.8 percent). The Jags hit eight 3-pointers in the game and outrebounded LU 30-26.
Lander enjoyed a 17-of-22 night at the free throw line, compared to just 6-of-9 for ASU.
The game featured 14 lead changes, including 13 in the second half.
The Jags close out their regular-season schedule on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Armstrong Atlantic State in Savannah. Game time from Alumni Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.