Jaguars Out to Defend Conference Tournament Crown

 

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Augusta State Jaguars will be back in a familiar spot when they face  North Florida in the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Friday, on the campus of Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga.

Head coach Gary Tuell's squad is certainly no stranger to playing deep into the postseason. The Jaguars are the two-time defending PBC Tournament champions and have at least advanced to the semifinals each of past three years. Now in their sixth season under Tuell, the Jags (17-10, 13-6) are the North's top seed for the fifth consecutive season. 

ASU hits the floor at 1:00 p.m. Friday against North Florida, who won their Wednesday matchup against Lander.  ASU split with North Florida during the season, with each team winning on the other's home floor.

ASU has a six-game winning streak in PBC Tournament play. Their last tourney loss came at the hands of Armstrong Atlantic State on March 3, 2000, in Greenwood, S.C.

"This is the first Peach Belt tournament for a lot of our kids," said Tuell. "We have some experience, but not a whole lot who've been through the grind of a conference tournament. We've been trying to define some new roles the last couple of weeks. I'm anxious to see how we'll react in a tournament setting."

Senior guard Chris Harriman, senior forward Marcus Johnson and senior guard Norris Grant are the only holdovers from last year's title squad. Harriman is the Jags' third-leading scorer at 9.7 ppg., while Johnson has solidified his spot in the starting lineup down the stretch. Grant's playing time has increased lately as well, providing Tuell with another ball-handler and defender on the perimeter.

Broadcast of the game can be heard live on WRDW-AM 1480/1630, with Ashley Brown providing the play-by-play.

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