By Leeroy Francis |
The Augusta University men’s basketball team fell to Francis Marion University 106-104 in double-overtime Wednesday, Jan. 17, in their closest, highest scoring game all season.
Earlier, the AU women’s team also fell to Francis Marion by a 62-60 score. The Jaguar women’s game was the first of the evening doubleheader.
In the men’s contest, the opening half at Christenberry Fieldhouse was all Augusta University. The Jaguars led Francis Marion for more than 18 of the opening 20 minutes. In that half, the leading scorer for Augusta was Tamyrik Fields, who had 14 points after going five for five from the field and four of six from the free throw line. Fields, the senior from Augusta, led the Jags to a 43-38 edge at halftime.
The Jags fought hard in the second half to maintain their lead. However, Francis Marion used its outside shooting to stay close. The visiting Patriots went 15 for 32 from the three-point line (47 percent) for the game.
Francis Marion eventually took the lead with 8:55 left in the game, and it stayed tight the rest of the way.
With 28 seconds left, Augusta junior Tyvez Monroe made a crucial three-pointer that tied the game at 84, and his shot sent it to overtime.
Francis Marion and AU then went back in forth in the first overtime period. The Patriots were down three points with only six seconds left in overtime when Francis Marion junior Ryan Davis caught the inbounds pass and made a desperation three-point shot to tie it at 95-95, once again as time expired.
In the second overtime, the game continued back and forth. With AU up 104-103 and in possession of the ball with less than 10 seconds to play, the Patriots forced a jump ball with 5.4 on the clock. The possession arrow pointed to the visitors.
Then FMU’s Detrek Browning took the inbounds pass and drove to the basket. Browning crashed into AU’s 6-foot-5 forward Deane Williams as the clock wound down. The refs whistled Williams for a blocking foul in front of the basket.
On that play, the game horn went off. After the AU bench was assessed a technical foul as the officials were trying to determine how much time was actually left on the clock, Browning made three foul shots to make it 106-104, the final margin. The Patriot senior guard finished with a school-record 41 points.
The Jags shot 54 percent from the line and outrebounded the Patriots 40-34. Augusta was led by Fields, who recorded a new career high in points with 33. He also had seven rebounds, two blocks, two assists and a steal. AU’s Williams recorded another double-double on the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and off the bench Monroe gave the Jags 13. Mikkel Kolstad added 17 points.
The Jaguars’ next game is against Georgia Southwestern on Saturday, Jan. 20 at home. Sitting 5-5 in the Peach Belt Conference and 8-8 overall, the Jaguars will look to get back in the winner’s column. With its win, Francis Marion improved to 5-5 in the league and 10-5 overall on the season.
In the women’s game, the Jaguars just couldn’t quite grab the lead during the course of the contest. Joshlyn Belcher, a senior, led the way with five points in the first half. Cynara Pitt added four points, one rebound and one steal in the first half to provide a spark off the bench.
Francis Marion led by 11 at halftime, but the Jaguars climbed back within striking distance in the second half. They finally tied the game at 60 with 48 seconds left in regulation on a three-point shot by Pitt. Francis Marion was awarded free throws with two seconds left, and they made the two shots to take the victory.
The Jags’ leading scorers were Belcher and Pitt with 15 points each. Brianna Middleton added eight points and 12 rebounds.
The Jag women’s next game is also at home and vs. Georgia Southwestern on Saturday, Jan. 20. The AU women are now 3-11 overall and 1-9 in the conference.
Contact Leeroy Francis at lfrancis @augusta.edu