Record Crowd Sparks ASU

Record Crowd Sparks ASU

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta State jumped out to a 17-point halftime lead in front of a record crowd Wednesday night and went on to a 73-59 Peach Belt Conference victory over rival USC Aiken in Christenberry Fieldhouse.

Senior Alex Smith led the way for the 12th-ranked Jaguars with 19 points and eight rebounds. ASU and PBC career scoring leader Ben Madgen booked 18 points, while Fred Brathwaite booked his fifth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Daniel Dixon pitched in 10 points and four assists.

The 3,718 in attendance were the most to ever witness an ASU athletic event. The attendance figure also marked a new conference record.

With the victory, the Jags improved to 18-2 on the season and 10-1 in the PBC. USC Aiken dropped to 12-7 and 7-5, respectively.

ASU, ranked No. 1 in Tuesday's NCAA Southeast Region poll, extended its home winning streak to 24 straight overall and to 21 in a row in league home games.

The Jags jumped ahead 8-0 in the first 2:39 of the game and pushed its lead to 25-8 at the 9:22 mark. ASU led by as many as 19 in the first half after a Brathwaite tip-in of a Greg Hire layup with 2:43 left.

A 15-6 run to start the second half gave the Jags a 52-26 advantage just five minutes into the second half. The Pacers (12-7, 7-5 PBC) managed a 21-10 stretch to cut their deficit to 15 on a Seth Leonard layup with 5:59 to go. Smith hit a pair of free throws with 5:33 left to stem the tide and Madgen's layup put the Jags up by 19 with 2:54 left.

The Jags shot 50 percent in the second half and 48.1 percent overall. They connected on 19-of-21 free-throw attempts (90.5 percent) owned the rebounding edge, 36-24.

ASU travels to Greenwood, S.C., on Saturday, Feb. 6 to take on Lander at 3:30 p.m., in Finis Horne Arena.