AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta University women's basketball team got its first taste of on-court action in Christenberry Fieldhouse on Wednesday night with the 2017-18 home opener against the Livingstone College Blue Bears. The Jaguars eclipsed a 24 point first-half deficit by outscoring LC by 12 in the second, but fell 79-74 down the stretch.
Down by three with two minutes in the contest, Augusta (1-2) senior Joshlyn Belcher hit a deep ball with 48 seconds on the clock to make it 73-72. The Jags forced a turnover with 27 seconds remaining, but were called for an offensive foul and then an intentional foul on the ensuing possession to give Livingstone (3-2) two free throws and the ball.
Despite outscoring the Blue Bears 24-12 in the final period, Augusta fell by five. They shot 39.7 percent from the floor (23-of-58) to Livingstone's 35.4 field-goal percentage (23-of-65) and they recorded a 41.7 three-point percentage (10-for-24) to LC's 23.8 mark (5-for-21).
First year head coach Millette Green had three players score in double digits. Augusta seniors Jahmia Bradley and Joshlyn Belcher each scored in double figures by the half. Bradley ended with 25 points and four assists, while Belcher had 20 points – matching her game-high of six three pointers.
Moneisha Goldsborough scored 13 points and had a team-high seven rebounds for AU, while Mallory Myers provided eight assists, two steals, and seven points.
The Blue Bears boosted ahead 18-0 at the start of the game, before Belcher buried a three pointer for Augusta from the left corner. The Jags were still behind by 18 at 38-20 with 6:40 to go in the first half. Belcher had three early three pointers to help pace the AU offense and Goldsborough and Brianna Middleton carded back-to-back blocks on defense.
Augusta went into halftime trailing 52-35. After getting outscored 29-9 in the first quarter, the Jags scored 26 points to Livingstone's 29 in the second.
A made basket and free throw from Goldsborough broke the Blue Bears' double-digit lead and made the score 67-59 midway through the third. Each team matched 15 points in the third period, as Augusta found its offense.
The Jags stormed back and trailed 69-64 with six minutes to go in the game. Bradley connected on her fourth three pointer of the night with 3:20 to play, bringing the Jags within three. Belcher's deep ball with 48 seconds on the clock made it 73-72, but LC survived in the final minute.
Peach Belt Conference competition begins on Saturday, Dec. 2 with a trip to Georgia College in Milledgeville, Ga., at 1:30 p.m.
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