AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta University women's basketball team (16-5, 9-3 PBC) defeated the Clayton State Lakers (16-3, 10-2 PBC) on Saturday afternoon 69-56 in a PBC matchup, as the Jaguars honored our local service men and women today with their Military Appreciation Day. Nearly 500 soldiers from Fort Gordon were in attendance for the game in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Senior Kariel Hutt was a massive defensive and offensive presence today, with five blocks in her first eight minutes. Hutt posted 12 points in the game and junior Breonna O'Conner led the way for the Jaguars scoring 20. Augusta shot a clutch 52 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from three-point range. They managed to hold the Lakers to 30.6 percent shooting from the field and just 16.7 percent from three-point range.
The Jaguars came out slow against the 16-2 Lakers, not scoring for the first three minutes of the game. A strong layup by Breonna O'Conner and a long three by Kayla Lovett got the scoring started for the Jaguars. The scoring remained tight until a long three by sophomore Joshlyn Belcher sent the Jags ahead for the first time in the game.
The Jaguars held a 19-13 lead at the end of the first period, but the Lakers managed to close the gap in the second period, shrinking the lead to just two, which is where the score held at halftime with the Jaguars leading 31-29. Points in the paint is what kept Clayton State in the first half, outscoring the Jaguars 20-14. Both teams struggled with turnovers in the first half, Augusta with 16 and Clayton State with 12.
Augusta started the second half much stronger than the first, opening with a 7-0 run and stretching the lead to nine. Despite a couple of crucial three-pointers by the Lakers, Augusta was able to maintain and add to that margin, with the Jaguars leading 49-39 heading into the final period.
Junior Kayla Lovett opened the scoring for Augusta in the final period with a hard drive inside that drew an unsuccessful attempt at a three-point play, but began a 13-2 run that built the Jags' lead to 21. A brief comeback by the Lakers cut into the Jaguars lead, shrinking it to 13 at one point, but Augusta the advantage was too much for Clayton State to overcome.
The Jags host Georgia College on Wednesday, Feb. 3 for a 5:30 p.m. Peach Belt Conference matchup in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
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