AUGUSTA, Ga. – Hosting their first Peach Belt Conference game of the season, the Augusta University women's basketball team was outlasted by Georgia Southwestern 75-66 on Thursday night in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Augusta (5-5, 0-4 PBC) comes back to action on Saturday, Jan. 7 when they host the Montevallo Falcons in the berry. The Hurricanes (8-2, 3-0 PBC) remained without a loss in the league with the road win.
Jags senior Breonna O'Conner had 16 first-half points and finished with a game-high 26 points – one shy of her season high. She added a career-best seven steals and posted four rebounds. Senior Kayla Lovett and junior Joshlyn Belcher each chipped in nine points in the loss. Sophomore Brianna Middleton produced six points and six boards with three steals.
Neither team protected the ball well, as GSW committed 32 turnovers to Augusta's 20. The Canes shot 55.1 percent from field-goal territory and made 7-of-15 threes (46.7 percent). Augusta was 3-for-12 from the arc (25.0 percent) and posted a 41.5 field-goal percentage.
Va'Queshia Hall led the Canes with 16 points, Mallory Diamond had 13, Gabby Fingers 12, and Shanya Jones 10 points. GSW won the paint and outrebounded the Jags 38-28 and 48 had 48 bench points to AU's 19.
GSW scored first in the game, but O'Conner was fouled on a made basket to steal the lead in Augusta's favor. Mallory Diamond came off the bench for the Canes and canned a three pointer on her first shot attempt as the score bounced back and forth in the opening possessions.
A layup from sophomore Mallory Myers gave Augusta a four point lead with 7:12 to play in the first half and Belcher buried the first three pointer for the Jags that led to a Canes timeout.
A 9-0 run boosted Augusta safely ahead and they took the half on top by 10 with a 37-27 score. O'Conner's 16 points guided the Jaguars in the first half, as did the Hurricanes committing 19 turnovers.
Augusta kept the lead to open the third period, but a three pointers from Gabby Fingers and Diamond made it 47-45. Belcher responded with another deep ball for the Jags. Minutes later, Fingers found herself open again and connected for a game-tying trey to make it 50-all with 38 seconds left in the third.
Heading into the final period, Augusta held a one point lead, but back-to-back baskets gave the advantage to the Canes. Fingers hit her fourth three pointer and Kirs Beckham her first for a 63-56 GSW lead. With 3:00 to play, the Jags trailed by 10 and were never able to recover and lost 75-66.
Augusta comes right back to action on Saturday, Jan. 7 when they host the Montevallo Falcons at 1:30 p.m. in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
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