Aiken, S.C. – The Augusta University Men's Basketball team defeated the USC Aiken Pacers 79-71 in a conference match up. The Jags improve to 12-7 overall with a mark of 7-4 in PBC contests. The Pacers drop to 12-9 on the season and fall to 8-3 in conference games.
The Jags jumped out to a quick lead, dropping in nine points before their hosts could even blink. Things settled down after that, with both squads finding their rhythm. Augusta's used Tyshaun Crawford and Rafael Monteiro to win the battles in the paint, while Aiken focused more on a three point plan of attack.
The Jags approach appeared to be working, as they held the lead for the entire half. Augusta's steady offense sent them into halftime with a 41-32 lead over the Pacers.
Both squads came out of the break trading off points. As the Pacers began to chip away at the Jaguar lead, a three-point basket from the home squad suddenly made it a one point affair at 51-50. Troy Cracknell drew a foul a few seconds later at the 12 minute mark to get back a little breathing room with the ensuing free throws.
As the half progressed, Aiken's defense started to shut down the Jags approach from the paint, forcing Augusta to start making longer shots. This kept things close, as with 7:10 left in regulation the Jaguar lead was back to only one possession at 63-61.
The Pacers flipped the scoreboard on a crowd-pumping dunk with just over six minutes to play. Miguel Arnold dropped in a three at 3:42 to regain the lead, then it was back and forth between the teams.
With time winding down, Crawford answered an Aiken dunk with a slam of his own, giving Augusta a 71-69 lead with about a minute to play. #2 launched a three as the shot clock expired with half a minute left, putting it off the bank and in giving the Jags a massive boost and a 74-71 lead.
The Pacers were forced to foul Augusta with only a couple dozen seconds remaining and Cracknell did not disappoint, making 5-of-6 shots from the stripe to all but seal it for the Jags.
The Jaguars were 26-for-61 (42.6%) from the field, making eight from downtown, and shot 19-of-25 from the free throw line.
The Jaguars had five score in double figures. Arnold scored 16 points on the day, with Cracknell dropping in 15. Tyree Myers posted 14 points while Monteiro put up 13 in the contest. Tyshaun Crawford was the last to hit double figures with 10 points while also securing a team high 13 rebounds for the double-double performance.
The Jaguars return home for their next contest, Saturday, February 1st, when they take on the Columbus State Cougars for Military Appreciation Day at 3:30 p.m.