Jaguars, Pacers renew PBC rivalry

By Chris Gay 
Staff Writer 

Two teams battling for the top of the Peach Belt Conference come stumbling into the first of their two annual grudge matches.

When Augusta State travels to play USC Aiken at the Courthouse tonight at 7:30, both teams will be looking to get back in the win column. The women's game begins at 5:30.

The Pacers (9-5, 4-1) failed to score in the first 8:01 of the game against UNC Pembroke on Saturday and lost their first conference game 68-55. On Monday, Augusta State (10-4, 5-0) foundered down the stretch against Paine and lost 68-58.

``Since the day he rolled in and I was here, Gary (Tuell, Jaguars coach) and I have both been very good friends in terms of our professional life and our personal life,'' USC Aiken coach Mike
Roberts said. ``I think if we were both 0-5 (in conference play) people would have some interest in that game.''

The two teams split last year's matchups. In the first game, Michael Tyler's 55-foot buzzer-beater sent the game to overtime. Corey Faggins then knocked down a 16-foot leaner at the buzzer for a 74-73 win. Two weeks later, Augusta State came back from an 8-point halftime deficit for a 60-55 win at Aiken.

Chris Robinson leads the Pacers with 13.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while Dain Brown adds 13.3 ppg. Festus Hawkins leads the Jaguars with 17.7 ppg and 7.7 rpg, while Gary Boodnikoff has 14.2 ppg.

``(Paine's) a lot like Aiken,'' Jaguars assistant coach Buck Harris said. ``Aiken has quick guys. So we're going to have to get out and guard them.''

After having an emergency appendectomy nearly two weeks ago, Tuell will be back as head coach of Augusta State for the first time since Jan. 3.

The Lady Pacers (11-4, 5-0) swept the Lady Jaguars (10-5, 3-2) last year. USC Aiken leads the Peach Belt North Division by two games. A win over Augusta today and Francis Marion on Saturday would put the Lady Pacers close to clinching the division.

USC Aiken's Jami Cornwell is sixth in the conference with 14.9 ppg and leads the PBC with 6.07 assists a game. Three-point threat Janell Gerk played 16 minutes against UNC Pembroke on Saturday and is continuing her recovery from an ankle injury.

Lady Jaguars senior center Sharon Taylor broke out of a two-week slump with 18 points and 11 rebounds in a 71-53 win over Paine on Monday. Taylor leads Augusta State with 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds a game.

ASU 89, Francis Marion 73
February 15, 2001 ASU 89, Francis Marion 73
Jaguars defeat Pacers 72-63
February 1, 2001 Jaguars defeat Pacers 72-63
Pacers edge Jaguars 53-51
January 18, 2001 Pacers edge Jaguars 53-51
ASU Defeats Rollins 70-68
November 30, 2000 ASU Defeats Rollins 70-68