AIKEN, S.C. – The Augusta University men's basketball team traveled to rival USC Aiken on Wednesday night for a Peach Belt Conference contest in the Convocation Center and the Jaguars won 95-79. Augusta has won its last seven meetings against USCA.
The rivalry road game moved Augusta to 10-8 overall and 7-5 in the Peach Belt, while USCA moved to 10-6 and 7-5 in the PBC.
With a tip-in basket at the 4:17 mark in the second half, Augusta senior Tamyrik Fields reached 1,000 points in his career. He is the 29th Jaguar to reach 1,000 career points and ranks 29th for AU in all-time scoring. Fields had two points at halftime and ended the game with 26 and eight rebounds.
"I remember I used to only have a back-to-the-basket move and now I'm like a triple-threat player," Fields said. "Tremendous love goes to my teammates, they always encourage me. Dip (Metress) pretty much brought me from the ground up and all the coaches: Lenny (Carlson), Jamie (Quarles), Drew Gibson, they all brought me up. I was an energy player, but I turned my game around."
In a strong offensive game, each team shot over 50 percent from field-goal range. Augusta shot 55.9 percent from the floor (33-for-59), 57.1 percent from the arc (8-for-14), and 75 percent from the charity stripe (21-of-28). USCA posted a 45.4 field-goal percentage (30-for-66) and only hit 12-of-31 (38.7 percent) at the three-point line. AU outrebounded the Pacers 42-30.
USCA came out hot on their home floor and used a 23-8 run to open the night. Augusta cut the lead to 10 with 7:10 to go in the first half and enjoyed a 13-8 run to get back to a relevant distance. The Pacers powered ahead by 15, but the Jaguars never showed signs of worry.
Byrd canned his third three pointer of the half with under 30 seconds to get Augusta within one. Cobzaru was fouled on the other end of the floor and hit a free throw to tie the game at 41-all going to halftime. Each team shot over 50 percent from the three-point line and from field-goal range in an evenly matched opening 20 minutes of play.
Fields found the bottom of the basket three straight times for AU to start the second half, as Augusta went on an 11-1 run to open the second - causing USCA to call a timeout. Augusta never trailed again to blow out the Pacers at home.
Augusta heads to Greenwood, S.C., on Saturday, Jan. 27 to take on Lander University at 3:30 p.m. in a Peach Belt Conference game.
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