By Leeroy Francis Jr. |
After two weeks off for players and coaches alike to relax with family and friends, Augusta University’s basketball teams return to action on Saturday, Jan. 5, with a doubleheader against Clayton State University at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
The women, who did play earlier this week, tip off the action at 1:30 p.m., followed by the men at 3:30.
The new year begins with the Jaguars playing six of their nine scheduled games in January in front of their home crowd, traveling only to Columbus State, Francis Marion and Georgia Southwestern.
With the Jaguars ranked an impressive first in defensive points per game in the Peach Belt Conference, the Jaguars are doing their part defensively. However, the Jaguars are ranked 10th scoring, and they will need to find a way to put more points on the board if they want to compete with offensive juggernauts UNC Pembroke, Young Harris and Lander. Each of those three are putting up 90-plus points per game in conference play, compared to the Jaguars’ 72.3 points per outing.
The Jaguar men (2-1 in the Peach Belt, 6-3 overall) are tied for fourth place in the league with Flagler as they play their first game in the new year. Clayton State (4-5 overall) has won one of its first three Peach Belt games.
Junior forward Rafael Monteiro leads the Jaguars in scoring with a 12.9 average and is second in rebounding at 6.7 boards per game. Senior Deane Williams is second in scoring at 12.6 points per game and leads the team with a 9.9 average in rebounding. Tyvez Monroe, a senior, is the only other AU player in double figures at 11 points per game. Freshman Miguel Arnold is average 9.4 points.
Saturday’s outing starts a crucial stretch for Coach Dip Metress’s team, as Flagler, Columbus State and second-place UNC Pembroke all looming in the next two weeks. All of those games will be at Christenberry, except the trip to Columbus State on Jan. 12.
The (1-8) Lady Jaguars continue to grind and are looking for their first win in conference play this season. The Jaguars need a big second half to build confidence and gather any kind of momentum into the Peach Belt Conference tournament in early March. The Jaguar women (0-3, 1-8) are coming off a 53-36 loss at Fayetteville State on Wednesday, Jan. 2. AU freshman Kailyn Jackson had a team-high nine points, while senior Brianna Middleton and freshman Jaelyn Autman each scored seven.
Clayton State’s women are 1-2 in the Peach Belt and 5-4 overall. Taneira Wilson leads the Lakers in scoring at 15.2 points per game. Aleisha Merriweather is second at 11.8 points per game.