AUGUSTA, Ga. -- West Georgia Head Coach Ed Murphy notched his 400th career win as the Braves -- ranked 17th in the nation -- held off a second-half Augusta State comeback to take a 79-74 non-conference victory Wednesday night in the Jags' home opener in George A. Christenberry Fieldhouse.
West Georgia's Jonathan James came off the bench to spark the
Braves with a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds. Bryant Redd
and Germayne Forbes chipped in 18 and 15 points, respectively.
Junior Jermale Wilkerson paced four Jaguars in double figures with 16 points. Chris Harriman added 12 points and David Siebrands and Marty Dunham added 10 points each.
The Jags trailed by as many as 12 in the first half before closing to within three on a Wilkerson three-pointer with 3:30 left in the half. West Georgia pushed its advantage back up to as high as 11 after halftime before freshman Jason Mills capped off a 14-4 Jaguar spurt, nailing a three-pointer to pull ASU within 66-65 with 5:07 remaining. But UWG immediately answered with a seven of the next nine points to thwart any hopes of an ASU comeback.
ASU returns to action Saturday night when the Jaguars open their Peach Belt Conference schedule with a doubleheader with rival USC Aiken. The ASU women take on the Lady Pacers at 5:30 p.m., with the men scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m.