Crawford leads Augusta men past Young Harris for eighth straight victory

Tyshaun Crawford goes up for two of his 28 points in the Jaguars’ 96-89 victory over Young Harris; he also had 14 boards. (photo by Viraj Bulla)

By Erin Burditt |
Sports writer

The Augusta University men’s basketball team defeated Young Harris College, 96-89, on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 22, at Christenberry Fieldhouse. The Jaguars (14-4 in the Peach Belt Conference, 19-7 overall) continued their winning ways as their winning streak has now reached eight games.

Augusta’s win on Saturday afternoon over Young Harris completed the season sweep of the Mountain Lions.

Sophomore Tyshaun Crawford led the way for the Jags as he poured in 28 points to go with his 14 rebounds, giving him a double-double. Crawford was perfect from the field as he went 12 of 12. Sophomore guard Miguel Arnold caught fire from distance as he hit eight three-pointers for the game. Arnold scored 24 points on 8-of-18 shooting and went 8 of 17 on three-pointers. Senior Rafael Monteiro logged another double-double as he scored 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Augusta had their way with Young Harris on the glass as the Jags grabbed 52 rebounds to the Mountain Lions 26. An undersized Young Harris team could not figure out how to slow down Crawford and Monteiro as they logged double digit rebounds. Sophomore guard Tyree Myers led the Jags in assists as he dished out 11, tying his season high.

The Mountain Lions (5-13, 7-19) were led by Brian Harper who scored 21 points on the night. Ryle Owens tallied 19 points as he hit went 4-of-7 three-pointers, and Nate Louis was perfect from the field as he scored 16 points.

The Jaguars got out to an early lead but squandered it as Young Harris quickly got back in the game. Both teams started to trade baskets about halfway through the first half. Augusta was able to push it to double digits later as they built a 50-37 lead going into halftime.

“Harper is a really good player, and they’re trying to get in the conference tournament,” AU Coach Dip Metress said afterwards, “so any wins they get count. I was concerned that they would come out and throw the first punch at us. At halftime, I told the players let’s definitely get off to a good start in the second half.”

The second half was never in doubt as AU was in control for much of the half. The Jags saw their lead get to 24 points (88-64) after Monteiro hit a three-point shot at the 6:14 mark. Young Harris started to trim the deficit with each offensive possession, but their rally started to late as they just simply ran out of time. Young Harris cut it to a seven-point lead with 12 seconds left but simply ran out of time. The Mountain Lions couldn’t overcome a double-digit deficit, and the Jags held on to win.

The Jags shot 52.2 percent from the field for the game, while Young Harris shot at a 50.9 percent rate. Both teams made 12 three-pointers. The Jags shot 36.4 percent from deep, and Young Harris shot 41.4 percent from three-point range. Augusts didn’t fare well at the free throw line as they shot 48.0 percent from the line, and Young Harris shot at an 82.6 percent clip.

The Jags stay in second place in the Peach Belt Conference with this win. They are still one game behind UNC Pembroke (15-3) and have a one game lead on third-place Lander (13-5) and USC Aiken (13-5).

“We will have to play our game,” Metress said of the upcoming game with the Pacers. “Don’t turn it over, and obviously we have to keep getting the ball inside.”

AU won the first game with USCA on Jan. 29 by a 79-71 score at Aiken. It began the current eight-game winning streak.

In the women’s game, the Jaguars (10-16, 7-11) beat Young Harris College (15-11, 9-9), 50-41, Saturday afternoon to get back in the win column. Kennedi Manning led the way for the Jags as she scored 14 points and added eight rebounds. Cameryn Wilson tallied 11 points of her own. Leading the way for Young Harris was Carly Winters as she scored 16 points. The Jags got out to a commanding 25-14 lead at the half, as they never trailed. Young Harris made it a close game late, but AU never wavered as they pulled away in the fourth.

The Jaguar women are in eighth place in the PBC standings, one game ahead of UNC Pembroke. The top eight teams make the conference tournament. The eighth seed would play the top seed, which currently is Lander.

The Jags are back at Christenberry Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Feb. 26, as they take on rival USC Aiken at 7:30 p.m. The women’s game starts at 5:30 p.m.

Miguel Arnold (5) pumps in a bucket; Arnold had 24 points in the Jaguars’ eighth win in a row. (photo by Viraj Bulla)