By Chris Gay
Staff Writer, Augusta Chronicle
GREENWOOD, S.C. - As a freshman, a teary-eyed T.J. Ott watched as Georgia College & State cut down the nets after coming from behind to defeat Augusta State in the 1999 Peach Belt Conference championship game.
On Saturday, Ott was the one holding the scissors.
Ott and Gary Boodnikoff combined for 35 points as Augusta State won its first-ever Peach Belt
Conference tournament championship with a 60-46 win over regular-season champion Armstrong Atlantic State at Finis Horne Arena. The win sends the Jaguars to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time since 1978.
``It killed us to sit there and watch them cut the nets two years ago,'' Ott said. ``We just wanted it really, really bad. We put in a lot of hard work to finally win it all.''
Ott, Boodnikoff and Festus Hawkins were named to the conference all-tournament team. Ott led all scorers with 18 points, while tournament MVP Boodnikoff added 17 and Festus Hawkins 11. Russell Hinder had a team-high 11 rebounds and five assists.
The biggest surprise of the night was fifth-year senior Reggie Rosier. Rosier had a career-high nine points and came up with big play after big play, tipping in three missed shots and swishing a second-half 3-pointer.
``It feels real good because I've been here the longest on the team, even longer than the coach,'' Rosier said. ``I just felt I had to step up and do what I could to help the team out.''
The Jaguars were 1-5 in their past six road games and needed to win the conference tournament to take any possible bid out of the selection committee's hands. Now, the team is moving on to the 32-team Division II Tournament, which most likely will begin Thursday in Charlotte, N.C.
``It's hard to talk about them, because they played so hard and gave so much. I'm so proud of these kids,'' Augusta coach Gary Tuell said. ``They've come so far since October.''
The key to Augusta's night was slowing down Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year Robert Campbell, who averaged 14.9 points and 5.2 steals per game this season. Smothered by Jaguars guards Jayme Johnson and Boodnikoff, Campbell scored eight points with two assists.
In the first half, Augusta trailed 4-2, but Ott sparked a 17-2 run with a 3-pointer as the Jaguars bolted to a 19-6 lead. Later, Boodnikoff caught a deflected pass on the baseline and dunked to give the Jaguars a 16-point lead with 5:38 left before halftime.
The Pirates made just five first-half field goals and trailed by 16 at the break.
Campbell made a steal near midcourt and then converted a three-point play to pull the Pirates within 34-24. Later, Joel Lecoeuvre nailed a 17-foot jumper to cut the lead to eight with 11:24 left.
Hawkins then made a free throw and Rosier knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing. After an Armstrong free throw, Rosier tipped in a Hinder miss to give the Jaguars a 49-36 lead with 6:54 remaining.
With Augusta up 12, Boodnikoff made a free throw and added a layup. Then on a dish from Chris Harriman, Boodnikoff threw down a two-handed dunk. It was over at 56-39 with 3:14 remaining.
After the game, Boodnikoff said he still had not thought about the Division II Tournament.
``I don't think it will (sink in) until next week when we practice,'' he said. ``Jayme (Johnson) told me we had to practice and I said, `Oh no.'''
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