AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Led by junior forward Harold Doby's career-high 25 points, Augusta State lifted the lid on the 2012-13 season Tuesday night with a 91-86 non-conference victory over Bowie State in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
With the win, the Jaguars (1-0) improved to 39-9 all-time in season openers and 9-0 in home openers under head coach Dip Metress. The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 0-4 overall.
Doby connected on 9-of-10 field-goal attempts and grabbed 10 rebounds for the fourth double-double of his ASU career. Sophomore guard Devonte Thomas drained six 3-pointers and booked 24 points, while Devon Wright-Nelson netted 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Chad July grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds and blocked three shots in his ASU debut and D'Angelo Boyce handed out 10 assists.
Bowie State's Ryan Westmorland led all scorers with 37 points, canning seven 3-pointers and went 10-of-10 from the charity stripe. Bryan Wilson chipped in 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
"Chad July made a big difference for us," Metress said. "He had some huge rebounds. He did a great job defending their post man (Najee White, who went 1-for-9 from the field). They have a good team. When two good teams come together, you learn from it. We got a good win vs. a good team."
Thomas scored ASU's first points of the season, swishing a 3-point bucket at the 19:05 mark. Junior transfer Ryan Weems' third 3-point shot of the first half gave ASU its largest lead of the first half, 19-9, at the 10:19 mark.
The Jags held the lead until a trey by Westmorland tied the game with 4:10 left. A little over thirty seconds later, Bowie took the lead, 32-31, on two foul shots by White. A jumper by senior forward Travis Keels reclaimed ASU's lead 33-32 at 2:40.
Doby kept ASU in the lead by scoring seven points, grabbing 4 rebounds, and blocking a shot over the last two and a half minutes of the game, preserving a 41-38 advantage at the half.
The Jags began the second half with a 15-4 run, jumping out to a 14-point advantage at the 17:02 mark, including three treys Thomas over the first three minutes of the half. The Bulldogs refused to go away, fighting back to within one, 60-59, with 13:47 left, with 14 points from Westmorland over that stretch. ASU again built a seven-point lead on a layup by Doby, only to see Bowie come back to take the lead, 70-68, on Westmorland's 3-point bucket with 9:16 on the clock.
Wright-Nelson reclaimed the lead for ASU, hitting a jumper at the 7:02 mark. July pulled down two crucial rebounds over the last two minutes on Bulldog misses. Doby and Thomas both hit big shots, with Thomas canning a 3-point bucket with 32 ticks left on the clock to give the Jaguars a six point lead and seal with win.
The Bulldogs had a huge advantage from the charity stripe, hitting 21-of-26 for 80.8 while ASU hit on only 13-of-23 for 56.5 percent. The Jags shot 57.6 percent from the field while holding Bowie to 40.9 percent. ASU owned the edge in rebounds, 39-34, and blocked six shots.
The Jags continue their three-game homestand Sunday, Nov. 25 when they host Coastal Georgia at 4:00 p.m., in Christenberry Fieldhouse.