By Miguelangelo Hernandez
Staff Writer, Augusta Chronicle
Gary Tuell missed Augusta State's huge win over Life University on Monday. He's glad he stuck around Wednesday night against USC Aiken.
The Jaguars erased a nine-point halftime deficit and turned it into a 72-63 mugging of the Pacers in Peach Belt Conference action at the ASU athletic complex.
``I was not going anywhere tonight; I didn't want to miss this,'' the Augusta State coach said. ``I didn't think this game would be this hard. We didn't play well in the first half, and we didn't shoot the ball well, and that's a credit to Aiken. They're a good team.''
With the win, Augusta State continues to lead the overall series between the schools at 21-14. More importantly, the Jaguars and Pacers now are tied in the Northern Division with seven games to go in the regular season. Both teams will play four of the remaining seven games on the road.
Augusta State fell behind by 11 six minutes into the second half, after Dain Brown hit two 3-pointers and former South Aiken standout Michael Tyler drilled three free throws.
The Jaguars (13-6, 7-2) went on a 32-10 run over the next nine minutes to pull away from USC Aiken (13-6, 7-2). The run was part of a 52-point, second-half performance by the Jaguars that was led by junior guard T.J. Ott.
Ott poured in a game-high 25 points and was one of four players to reach double figures for Augusta State. Russell Hinder and Gary Boodnikoff each had 15, while 6-foot-11 senior center Festus Hawkins chipped in 11 points.
Brown had a team-high 23 points to pace USC Aiken, while Chris Robinson added 14.
``My team did a great job, and it could be worse, but we're still tied for first,'' Pacers coach Mike Roberts said. ``I don't think you have to take one in the grill to get refocused, but it certainly changes the scenario. We have a couple games at home, and I think it gives us an opportunity to get back on our feet.''
Augusta State's win avenges its 53-51 loss at The Courthouse on Jan. 17 and snaps the Pacers' four-game winning streak.
With the Jaguars and Pacers trading points, Boodnikoff, coming off a career night against Life, hit two critical 3-pointers from the right wing to push Augusta State up 50-43. After Robinson hit a jumper, Ott scored six of the team's next 11 points to give Augusta State its biggest lead of the night, 59-45.
USC Aiken shot 44 percent in the first half (11-of-25), compared to the Jaguars' mere 32 percent (8-of-25), including 1-of-10 from behind the arc.
The teams traded places in the second half, as Augusta State shot an astounding 73 percent (16-of-22), including four of seven 3-pointers 16 of 17 from the free-throw line.
USC Aiken, which was picked in the preseason poll to finish ninth, hit just eight of 25 shots (32 percent) but made four of its eight 3-point attempts.
March 27, 2001 Hawkins and Boodnikoff Named to the NABC All-Region Team
March 11, 2001 Jaguars look to next season
March 10, 2001 Magical Season Comes to an End for Jaguars
March 10, 2001 Augusta State knocked out of tournament
March 10, 2001 Rams' stifling 'D' steamrolls Jaguars
March 9, 2001 Jaguars are a 'can do' team
March 9, 2001 Jaguars top Catawba College 96-84
March 8, 2001 Jaguars ready to take on Catawba
March 7, 2001 Augusta State coach ready for challenge
March 5, 2001 Augusta State Men’s Basketball Itinerary
March 5, 2001 Augusta State earns 6th seed
March 3, 2001 Jaguars reign in Peach Belt
March 3, 2001 Augusta State Wins Peach Belt Tournament Title
March 2, 2001 ASU Defeats USC Aiken in PBC Semifinals
March 1, 2001 Jaguars top Clayton State
February 24, 2001 ASU Wraps North Division Top-Seed With 83-65 Win Over Francis Marion
February 21, 2001 No. 22 Pirates Win 16th Straight, Defeat ASU 58-45
February 17, 2001 ASU Falls to Georgia College & State
February 15, 2001 ASU 89, Francis Marion 73
February 14, 2001 ASU Rolls Over Francis Marion 89-73
February 11, 2001 Jaguars celebrate homecoming with win
February 10, 2001 ASU Rolls Over North Florida 93-50
February 10, 2001 Jaguars face North Florida at home
February 7, 2001 ASU Moves Back Into First Place With 70-63 Win Over UNC Pembroke
February 3, 2001 Senators down Augusta State 68-60
February 1, 2001 Jaguars defeat Pacers 72-63
January 31, 2001 ASU Moves Back Into First Place With 72-63 Win Over USC Aiken
January 29, 2001 Records Fall as ASU Defeats Life University 108-87
January 24, 2001 Jaguars suffer tough setback vs. Kennesaw
January 20, 2001 TJ Ott Leads ASU to 61-47 Win over USC Spartanburg
January 18, 2001 Pacers edge Jaguars 53-51
January 17, 2001 Second Half Rally Falls Short as ASU Falls to USCA
January 17, 2001 Jaguars, Pacers renew PBC rivalry
January 16, 2001 Paine tops ASU in City Classic
January 15, 2001 Paine Defeats ASU 68-58 Behind Yari Scott’s 27 Points
January 15, 2001 Gary Boodnikoff Named Peach Belt Player of the Week
January 14, 2001 Jaguars remain at top of league
January 13, 2001 Gary Boodnikoff Scores 26 in 80-53 Win Over Lander
January 10, 2001 Braves and Jaguars Split Peach Belt Doubleheader
January 8, 2001 Festus Hawkins Lifts ASU to 64-63 Overtime Win
January 7, 2001 Jaguars give Harris win number 1
January 6, 2001 Augusta State Defeats Columbus State 74-57
January 4, 2001 ASU Men and Women Sweep Clayton State
January 3, 2001 Augusta State Defeats Clayton State 65-54
December 21, 2000 Augusta State’s Gary Tuell to Host Holiday Basketball Clinic ... Again
December 18, 2000 Augusta State Falls To Life, 72-55
December 13, 2000 Augusta State’s Gary Tuell to Host Holiday Basketball Clinic
December 13, 2000 Festus Hawkins and Sharon Taylor Ranked Nationally
December 10, 2000 Fast start lifts Jags past Savannah State
December 9, 2000 Festus Hawkins Powers ASU Over Savannah State 87-67
December 2, 2000 Augusta State Defeats Lenoir-Rhyne 71-55
December 1, 2000 ASU Falls to 10th-Ranked Wingate 103-88
November 30, 2000 ASU Defeats Rollins 70-68
November 27, 2000 ASU Defeats West Georgia 66-61 in Home Opener
November 22, 2000 Augusta State Notches First Win at Savannah State 68-45
November 17, 2000 West Georgia Defeats Augusta State 76-74 in Overtime Thriller
November 11, 2000 Augusta State Defeats ASU Alumni/CSRA Select Team 91-55
October 14, 2000 Augusta State to host Midnight Madness Saturday, October 14
October 11, 2000 ASU Seeking Third Straight Peach Belt North Division Title
October 10, 2000 Augusta State Men’s Basketball Opens 2000-01 Season at West Georgia