FLORENCE, S.C. -- Augusta State rallied from an early first-half deficit and registered a 77-74 Peach Belt Conference road win over Francis Marion Wednesday night in Smith University Center.
With the victory, the 12th-ranked Jaguars snapped their two-game losing skid and improved to 7-2 overall, 3-0 in the PBC and 2-0 in the PBC East Division. The loss dropped FMU to 4-5 and 0-3, respectively.
The victory was ASU's 16th in the last 17 meetings with the Patriots and the Jags improved to 19-1 vs. FMU under head coach Dip Metress.
ASU junior shooting guard Ryan Weems, in the starting lineup for the second straight game, poured in a career-high 27 points and led the Jags in scoring for the fifth time in the first nine games. Harold Doby logged his third double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds and senior Travis Keels notched 10 points. Sophomore guard/forward Roman Hill grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds, while Devon Wright-Nelson and Chad July combined for 13 points and 13 rebounds
Dustin Jones and Tyler Deihl had 12 points for FMU and Evrik Gary pitched in 11.
ASU shot under 39.7 percent from the field, including just 4-of-19 from long range. The Patriots, who entered the contest leading the PBC and the nation in scoring, drained 16 treys in the contest but were held 32 points under their season scoring average. The Jags offset a season-high 20 turnovers against FMU's full-court pressure by owning a 56-31 edge in rebounds.
The Jags shuffled their starting lineup for the second time in as many games, with Hill making his first career start in place of Wright-Nelson. Weems scored 13 points and Hill grabbed eight rebounds in the first half as the Jags trailed by as many as 12 before outscoring FMU 23-6 over the final 9:44 for a 36-31 halftime lead.
ASU increased its advantage to 12 midway through the second half on a layup from Weems. The Pats countered with consecutive treys before Hill slowed the surge with a jumper. FMU got within two on three occasions over the final 6:09. Gary's trey with 4:31 left pulled the hosts within 65-63, only to have the Jags respond with a 6-0 spurt that Doby punctuated with a dunk at the 2:13 mark for an eight-point ASU lead.
Jones and Williams connected from long range on consecutive possessions, the last with 1:16 left to close within 71-69. Weems drilled his third triple for a 74-69 lead before Robert Carpenter hit a 3-pointer to get FMU within 74-72 with :26 remaining. The Pats were forced to foul, and Weems hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final 23 seconds.
ASU wraps up its three-game road swing on Saturday, Jan. 5 vs. UNC Pembroke at 7:30 p.m., at English E. Jones Center.