AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Augusta State traveled across town on Thursday night and registered a hard-fought, 66-59 over Paine College in a non-conference matchup.
With their ninth straight win over Paine in front of a crowd of 2,103 at the HEAL Complex, the Jaguars climbed to 10-5 on the year, while the Lions dropped to 7-9.
ASU Head Coach Dip Metress called a timeout after the Jags missed their first four shot attempts and allowed Paine to jump out to a 7-0 lead. Sophomore Roman Hill got the Jags going with back-to-back jumpers to ignite the comeback.
The Lions held the lead until the 9:40 mark, until a tip-in bucket from Travis Keels and a Devonte Thomas layup closed the gap. Sophomore Devon Wright-Nelson gave the Jags the lead and momentum when he swished a 3-pointer from the left wing.
The game entered the fourth media timeout tied at 26-all. Keels keyed a 13-0 Jaguar run, cleaning up the rim with two put-back buckets. He ended the night with a double-double, scoring 10 points with 11 boards and four blocks. Thomas added five quick ones, before Wright-Nelson scored a final layup for a 39-26 ASU lead at the half.
The Lions put together a 7-0 spurt at the start of the second with baskets from Kenny Fluellen and Mario Jordan. Paine tied it at the 11:09 mark on a pair of Sean Morgan free throws, only to have ASU respond with two consecutive layups from Weems.
Clinging to a five-point lead with 1:19 to play, Weems pulled up in transition and drained a jumper from the left elbow as ASU pulled out the win 66-59.
Weems and Wright-Nelson tallied 14 points each, while Thomas added 11. Mario Jordan led PC with 19 points and freshman Sean Morgan notched 14.
The Jaguars return to Peach Belt Conference play on Saturday, Feb. 26 in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff against UNC Pembroke. ASU Athletics will host its fourth annual Military Appreciation Day in Christenberry Fieldhouse.