AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta University women's basketball team built a 14-point lead over Young Harris in the first and held off a second-half surge to win a 51-48 Peach Belt Conference game in Christenberry Fieldhouse Monday afternoon on Martin Luther King Day.
Augusta (8-6, 3-5 PBC) continued their momentum from an overtime road win on Saturday and handed YHC their second-straight league loss. Senior Breonna O'Conner led the team with 13 points and seven steals. It was her fifth game with five or more steals.
Sophomore Brianna Middleton and senior Kayla Lovett each had eight points and juniors Joshlyn Belcher and Abrea Harris scored seven apiece off the bench. The Jaguars shot 36.7 percent from field-goal range and held YHC to 34.0 shooting. AU canned five deep balls to YHC's three and outscored them 17-2 off bench points.
Young Harris (6-8, 2-5 PBC) was led by Meredith Tarver's 15 points and Jenny Vernet's double-double of 14 points and boards. YHC made 13-of-16 free throws (81.3) to AU's 10-of-12 (83.3) and outrebounded the Jags 38-27.
Two quick baskets in the paint and a trio of three pointers put the Jaguars up 19-8 after one period. Harris hit another three pointer for Augusta and they led the entire first half as they went into halftime up 32-25.
The Jags had eight steals and forced 12 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes to earn the lead, but a 6-2 run brought the Mountain Lions back into a tight game midway through the third. Augusta led by 14 in the first half, but YHC outscored the Jags 17-13 in the second period and 11-6 in the third period for a 38-36 score to begin the final 10 minutes.
Briana Bell found Meredith Tarver for a three pointer to give YHC their first lead of the game, 39-38. Augusta answered with a jumper and trey from Joshlyn Belcher to steal back a two-possession lead.
Bell buried a three for YHC with 4:38 to go in the game for a one point game heading into the last schedule media timeout of the game. The Jaguars led 47-44 with just under two minutes to play and outlasted YHC 51-48.
The Jaguars return to Christenberry Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Jan. 18 for a 5:30 p.m. Peach Belt Conference game with the Flagler Saints.
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