MORROW, Ga. -- Tye Beal drained four free throws in the final 30 seconds Saturday night to lift Augusta State to a 58-55 Peach Belt Conference road win over Clayton State in the Athletics and Fitness Center.
The eighth-ranked Jaguars (9-0, 2-0 in the PBC), who entered the contest leading the league in scoring defense (54.8 ppg.), surrendered 59 points or less for the seventh time in their first nine games.
With the win, ASU improved to 16-11 all-time in the series with the Lakers (8-3, 1-1 in the PBC). The Jags improved to 4-6 at CSU, to 3-2 in the Athletics and Fitness Center under head coach Dip Metress and also registered their 12th straight conference victory dating back to last season.
A junior guard from Arlington, Va., Beal canned two free throws with 22 seconds left to put ASU in front 56-52. Clayton's Brandon Robinson answered with a 3-pointer with :12 remaining to pull the hosts within one at 56-55. Forced to foul, the Lakers sent Beal to the charity stripe with just seven ticks left. He drained both free throws for a 58-55 ASU lead, and Timmy Downs' 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
George Johnson and Franck Ndongo booked 14 points each for the Jags. Ndongo pulled down 11 rebounds for his third consecutive double-double and added five assists. Beal and O'Neal Armstrong netted 10 points each, and Armstrong recorded a career-best eight rebounds.
Downs had 15 points for the Lakers, while Robinson and Juron Dobbs netted 11 and 10, respectively.
The Jags shot 41.7 percent from the field and led by as many as 11 in the first half after a Johnson 3-pointer with 8:21 left. ASU hit 7-of-16 3-point attempts (43.8 percent) and owned the rebounding edge 41-39.
The Lakers made just 4-of-22 from long range (18.2 percent) and shot just 30.2 percent overall.
ASU breaks for the holidays before traveling to Mount Olive, N.C., to take on the Trojans in a non-conference matchup on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m.