Augusta, Ga. – The Augusta University Men's Basketball team defeated the Francis Marion Patriots today in a conference tilt 94-78. The Jags move to 10-4 overall with a 5-1 record in Peach Belt Conference play. The Patriots drop to 3-10 on the season with a 2-5 mark in conference action.
The Jags opened up the game with a dominant performance from Troy Cracknell who dropped in five three-pointers within the first 10 minutes of play. Thanks to his effort, the Jags sported a 32-9 lead with just under nine minutes to play in the first.
Trailing by over 20 points, the Patriots found their stride as they switched to a more aggressive, if not risky, style of play. The change seemed to work though as the Augusta lead was cut to 10 with five minutes to go.
The Jags couldn't seem to adapt to the new style in the waning moments of the half, as Francis Marion knocked in three-three-point field goals within the last five minutes of action, including one with mere seconds on the clock to make it a 46-41 game as the teams headed into the break.
The Jags saw their lead shrink even more at the start of the second half, as the defense couldn't figure out a way to break the Patriots' rhythm.
At 14:54 the visitor caught the home squad, tying the game on a three-point basket at 54 all. The Jags regained the lead shortly after, but at 11:03 Augusta found itself behind for the first time all night. Fortunately for the Jags, Rafael Monteiro was able to draw a foul and drain the free throws that followed to tie the game back up at 62-62.
That would be the closest Francis Marion would come to victory, as the Jaguars' offense found its flow from the start of the game and put the game well out of reach, securing their fifth conference win on the year.
The Jags were an impressive 30-of-50 (60.0%) from the floor, including 10-for-20 on three point baskets, and 24-of-29 from the charity stripe.
Cracknell led all Jag scorers with 23 points on the night, while Monteiro followed close behind with 19. Monteiro also notched nine rebounds in the game, while Tyshaun Crawford snagged eight boards.
The Jags are on the road for their next match up as they head to Pembroke, N.C. to do battle with the UNC Pembroke Braves on Saturday, January 18th, at 3:30 p.m.