ASU 89, Francis Marion 73

In his four years as Augusta State head coach, Gary Tuell never has lost a season finale at home. Francis Marion proved to be road-kill No. 4.

Festus Hawkins and Gary Boodnikoff combined for 46 points as Augusta State blew out the Patriots 89-73 on senior night at the ASU athletic complex. 

Augusta State (16-7, 10-3), which ended its home slate a perfect 8-0 against conference opponents, plays it final three games of the regular season on the road, including a Feb. 24 rematch with Francis Marion. With USC Aiken's 72-69 loss to Lander, the Jaguars now lead the Peach Belt North Division by two games with three games remaining.

``We've always been good at home,'' Tuell said. ``The true test for this team is what it does on the road. That's where we haven't come through this year. The possibility that we could finish 10-6 (in the conference) is very realistic, because we haven't proven we could go on the road and win.''

The Jaguars shot 50 percent from the field, and four players scored in double figures. Boodnikoff led the way with 24 points, while Hawkins added 22, Russell Hinder 12 and T.J. Ott 11.

``I thought Festus had a great game for us. I don't know what his numbers are, but he was a big presence. And I really thought Boodnikoff played well on both ends of the floor. I was happy for our seniors that Reggie (Rosier) and Fess got to go out on a winning note,'' Tuell said.

With Augusta State leading 14-8 in the first half, Boodnikoff ran off eight points during a 14-5 Jaguar run. The junior guard rimmed in a 3-pointer, which staked Augusta State to a 28-13 lead.

The Jaguar lead never fell below nine, and Ott swished a 10-foot jumper just before halftime to give Augusta State a 36-23 lead at the break.

Francis Marion trimmed the lead to nine on two Will Tucker free throws 3:11 into the second half. But Boodnikoff drained his sixth 3-pointer of the game to extend the lead to 13. Then Russell Hinder added two free throws as Augusta State went up 53-38.

Later in the half, Boodnikoff scored on a layup and added a turnaround jumper, and it was lights out at 71-52 with 5:05 remaining.

``I kind of felt like it was Kennesaw coming into the game,'' said Boodnikoff, referring to Augusta State's 70-64 loss to the Owls who are in last place in the South Division. ``I knew we had to play a lot better than that game.''

ASU 89, Francis Marion 73
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