AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta Jaguars survived a 73-72 Peach Belt Conference battle with the UNC Pembroke Braves on Saturday afternoon in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
The Jaguars (5-5, 1-2 PBC) led the entire game until the final minute when the Braves (6-7, 0-4 PBC) tied the matchup on a three pointer from Brandon Watts. Augusta freshman Ja'Shawn Brooks completed a three-point play on the next possession after he was fouled on a successful layup to keep the Jags ahead for the win.
Augusta led by 26 in the first half and outscored the Braves 43-27 in the opening 20 minutes, before allowing the UNCP comeback in the second half.
Junior Keshun Sherrill led all players with 26 points. He added three rebounds, three steals and an assist, while sophomore Tamyrik Fields put up 17 points and freshman Ja'Shawn Brooks 12. Senior Tommy Williams had eight boards and seven points.
The Jaguars committed 20 turnovers in the game, but they outshot the Braves 43.2 to 39.7 percent from the floor. UNCP won the rebound contest 34-33, but Augusta hit eight more three free throws.
Both teams answered three pointers at the start of the game and Augusta led 9-8 at the first media timeout. Junior Keith Crump lifted the Jags to a 12-8 lead with the teams' second trey ball of the game and they went up 17-8 on T. Williams' three pointer.
With 8:50 to go in the opening half, freshman Deane Williams blocked a shot off the glass and found Sherrill for an easy fast-break jumper. The Jags led 38-14 after freshman Ja'Shawn Brooks hit a corner three ball and the Augusta took the half up 43-27.
The Jags hit 13-of-16 free throws in the first half and held UNCP to just 4-of-6 attempts from the charity stripe. After leading by 26 in the first half, the Jags let the Braves climb back into an eight-point game with 12:00 to go.
Down 49-41, UNCP cut the score to 49-42 on a Brandon Watts springing layup. Crump found sophomore Tamyrik Fields in the lane for an open basket, but a pair of Braves free throws kept the contest close. The Braves had steals in back-to-back possessions and converted both for a successful four points to cut their deficit to 51-49.
Brooks connected on his third three pointer and Fields hit four free throws in the next few Jaguar possessions to keep the advantage intact. With 5:00 to play, the score was 61-58 Augusta when Sherrill hit a trey from the right corner. The Braves converted on their next two trips down the floor and made it a two-point affair at 64-62 on Brandon Winford's jumper.
Sherrill made two free throws to keep Augusta up 66-63 with just over two minutes to go, but Watts hit a three pointer to tie the game under a minute. On the next possession, Brooks was fouled on a good layup and completed the three point play to hold off the Braves for a final 73-72 victory.
Peach Belt Conference continues for the Jags as they host the Francis Marion Patriots on Monday, Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m. The women host the FMU Patriots at 5:30 p.m.
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