Paine tops ASU in City Classic

By Chris Gay 
Staff Writer, Augusta Chronicle 

Three years ago, Mac Young lost to Paine College in the City Classic as a member of the Augusta State team. Over the summer, Young transferred to Paine, and two losses to Augusta followed.

Finally, Young was on a winning team.

Yari Scott scored nine of his game-high 27 points in the final 2:40 of the game as Paine pulled away for a 68-58 win over Augusta State in the City Classic at the Augusta State University Athletic Complex Monday night.

``It took me three years to get one of these (wins),'' Young said. ``I don't feel great about that.''

With the victory, Paine evens the all-time series with Augusta at 13. Paine (9-3) has now defeated all three Peach Belt schools on its schedule.

Marcus Gradney scored on a turnaround jumper to give Augusta State (10-4) a 52-51 lead with 4:21 left in the game. But Scott made a pair of key 3-pointers, and the Lions ended the game on a 16-6 run.

``We knew we were going to have to play great defense,'' Paine coach Ron Spry said.

Paine held a Jaguars offense averaging 72.3 points a game to 40 percent shooting from the field, including a 5-of-19 performance from 3-point range. More importantly, the Lions committed just four turnovers to Augusta's 19.

``Paine played a helluva game,'' Augusta acting head coach Buck Harris said. ``Yari Scott was unbelievable. He made some key shots, and I thought they played hard. They played harder than we did in the second half.''

Harris ends his run as head coach at 4-1. Gary Tuell, out for more than a week after an appendectomy, will return as Augusta's head coach when the Jaguars play at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at USC Aiken.

In the first half, Paine trailed 17-15, but Young capped an 8-0 run with a driving layup to give the Lions a six-point lead with 5:24 left in the first half.

Augusta State made nine straight free throws in the opening half and tied the game
at 23-all on a T.J. Ott free throw. Ott later added a 3-pointer, and Russell Hinder followed with another three as the Jaguars extended the lead to 31-26 at the break.

Scott scored nine points in the first 3:33 of the second half as Paine cut the lead to 38-36. Six minutes later, Reggie Rosier tipped in a missed Ott jumper to give the Jaguars a 46-41 lead with 10:42 remaining.

Colin Jamerson tacked on 12 points for Paine. Festus Hawkins led the Jaguars with 21 points.

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