COLUMBUS, GA -- The North Division regular season champion Augusta State Jaguars nailed 10 three-pointers en route to a 90-75 win over the fourth seed from the South Division, North Florida, in the day’s first quarterfinal action of the 2003 Peach Belt Conference Tournament at the Frank G. Lumpkin Jr. Center in Columbus, Ga.
The 90 points scored by ASU was the most ever in a Peach Belt Conference tournament game.
ASU advances to face Kennesaw State, who beat GC&SU 79-66 in OT this afternoon.
Augusta State (18-10) placed five players in double figures as David Siebrands (26) and Marcus Johnson (16) each hit for career-high point totals for the Jaguars in leading ASU back to the PBC Tournament Semifinals for the fifth consecutive season. ASU hit 10-of-24 threes on the game, and their 7 turnovers were a season low.
UNF (14-13) cut the Jaguars’ second-half lead to seven points on two occasions, but each time Augusta State responded with three-pointers to keep the lead at double-digits. An 11-3 run midway through the second half gave the Jaguars their largest lead of the game to that point, 74-57, and Augusta State never looked back.
Patrick Curran added 13 points for the Jaguars, while Jermale Wilkerson notched 13 and Ben Butler added 11 from the bench. North Florida sophomore Donny Lotz, who hit the key three-pointer to send the game into overtime in UNF’s Wednesday first-round win over Lander, finished with a season-high 22 points for the Ospreys, while Gary Satterwhite added a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
North Florida started the contest by taking a quick 8-4 lead, but Augusta State got seven early points from Marcus Johnson - who averages just 4.2 points per game on the season - to take a 17-10 lead with 13:47 left until halftime.
The Jaguars used a 12-0 run over a 3:16 stretch of the first half to take their biggest lead of the first half, 41-25, with 4:07 remaining until intermission. North Florida fought back behind Gary Satterwhite to bring it to a 12-point halftime deficit, 44-32, as Satterwhite collected 11 of his 20 points in the first half.
Head Coach Matt Kilcullen
"I thought (Ben) Butler was a key for them. Their three point shooting was the difference for today’s game. Our zone was much more effective last time we saw them. David Siebrands - he really hurt us inside and outside."
"Offensively, we never really got in sync. Chris Ireland is the heart and soul of this team. It really took a lot out of us when he went to the bench at 16 minutes (due to fouls)."
"We didn’t execute on either end of the floor. This time of year, if you don’t execute…the best team doesn’t necessarily win; it is the team that executes that wins. Today Augusta was the better team. They were very well prepared and they executed."
"When they needed to make plays, the made big plays. Their guys hitting big threes was really big for them."
Joe Gaetano, Jr.
"When I got here (at North Florida) with coach we struggled to win any games. We’ve come a long way. We’ve established ourselves in the Peach Belt, so it’s up to our young guys to keep it going for the future."
Head Coach Gary Tuell
"We had a great week of practice, probably the best we’ve had all year. We are trying to adjust after losing a couple of starters. Today we came out and played with some intensity and passion. We made North Florida do the things we wanted them to do. I didn’t know if we could beat them going into the game but I knew we if we played the way we practiced we could do well."
"If we moved the ball around well and defend we can stay around here for a while. We’d like to hang onto the tournament title for another year."
On five players in double digits in scoring "We have always been an equal opportunity team. They like each other. We had 19 assists, seven turnovers that is pretty good efficiency."
On Marcus Johnson’s career high 16 points "He brings a lot of energy to the floor. When he brings his energy and a good mind, he can help us. Today he played hard and smart. He made some huge plays in the first half. He plays with a whole lot of passion."
"I like my team right now better than I have liked them all year. Our bench guys, our starters, everything. We’ll see how well we do on Saturday."
"We didn’t come out with any enthusiasm the last time we played them. We just out played them today. We moved the ball around and it gave us some good looks."
"I got my open shots because we were sharing the ball. We were able to run the floor and that allowed me to get inside. They kept giving me the open shot."