FLORENCE, S.C. – The Augusta University men's basketball team won their eighth consecutive game on Saturday afternoon with an 85-80 triumph over the Francis Marion Patriots in the Smith University Center. It is the second longest winning streak for AU since they won 11 in a row in the 2014-15 season. Head coach Dip Metress is now 23-2 against FMU during his time with the Jags.
Augusta (15-3, 8-2 PBC) leads the Peach Belt East Division, while the FMU Patriots (6-11, 2-7 PBC) are fifth in the division. After dropping their two PBC games of the season, the Jags have responded and won eight straight, including four on the road.
Jags sophomore Tyvez Monroe led the team in scoring for the second time this season with 19 points. He made three shots from beyond the arc for his fifth-straight game with three or more three pointers.
Sophomore Deane Williams and senior Keshun Sherrill each had 15 points, with Williams adding five rebounds and two blocks and Sherrill five boards and five assists. Junior Tamyrik Fields was 5-of-9 from the floor and totaled 10 points off the bench and sophomore Ja'Shawn Brooks added nine points.
FMU outrebounded 34-33 on their home court, but Augusta forced them into 21 turnovers and shot 49.3 percent (33-of-67) from the floor to the Patriots' 47.5 percent (29-of-61) field-goal mark.
The three-point shot plagued AU all day, as FMU went 12-for-23 (52.2 percent) from three-point land. The Jags were 6-of-15 (40 percent) from deep, but 29 bench points to the Pats' 13 helped them to the victory.
Detrek Browning led Francis Marion and all players with 24 points. Browning made four threes and Brandon Parker was 3-for-3 from deep to contribute 16 points.
The first half score never grew beyond a seven-point deficit and the lead switched 11 times. AU's Deane Williams scored 10 in the first 20 minutes, but Browning turned in 12 for FMU. Browning Hit a buzzer-beating trey at halftime to steal a 42-40 lead to the Patriots.
The Jags gave up seven three pointers in the first half and trailed in the second half until the 12:26 mark when sophomore Aaron Byrd made a three pointer off a Vlad Cobzaru assist. The score danced back and forth in the next several possessions and remained a two-basket game.
The score was tied 71-all with under three minutes to play when Sherrill made a pair of free throws and Monroe knocked down his sixth field goal to give AU a slight lead. Monroe followed with an offensive board and two more Jaguar free throws for a 79-73 lead 50 seconds to play.
Browning stayed strong on offense and made his fourth three pointer and a jumper, but Monroe spoiled the last-second FMU efforts with a jumper as the Jags hung on for a 85-80 win.
Augusta travels to Armstrong State on Wednesday, Jan. 25 for their next PBC game at 7:30 p.m. in Savannah, Ga.
The Jaguars host the USC Aiken Pacers on Monday, Jan. 30 for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. A White Out is forecast for Christenberry Fieldhouse. Fans, don your favorite white outfit and head over to the berry' Monday for the annual rivalry showdown. The women play at 5:30 p.m. before the men.
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