SAVANNAH, Ga. – Armstrong Atlanticv notched its first home win over Augusta State since 2005 with a 59-57 Peach Belt Conference victory on Thursday evening at Alumni Arena.
The Pirates (11-6, 7-3 PBC) have won seven out of their last nine with the win over the Jaguars (10-7, 5-5 PBC), who tasted defeat in Savannah against the Pirates for the first time in eight games, a stretch that goes back to a 60-53 win by Armstrong on Jan. 8, 2005.
Armstrong used a hefty rebounding advantage to build a four-point lead, 30-26, at the half as the Pirates enjoyed a 17-2 edge in offensive rebounds and a 36-19 edge overall. Augusta State used the three-poit shot to climb back into the game, hitting 9-of-17 on the game (52.9 percent) to offset a 30-percent overall shooting night.
The Pirates led by eight, 47-39, with 8:13 left in the contest when Augusta State embarked on a 11-0 run over the next three minutes to take a 50-47 lead with 5:12 remaining. The lead would change hands seven times over the final five minutes, with the Pirates taking the lead for good on a baseline drive by senior Antroine Williford with 26.7 seconds left, making the score 58-57.
Travis Keels' short jumper was blocked by the Pirates' Darius Morales with 8.8 seconds left and Armstrong got the ball after it went out of bounds off of the Jaguars. Senior Aric Miller made one-of-two free throws and the Jaguars' Ryan Weems put up a contested three-pointer with two seconds left which was off the mark, giving Armstrong the win.
Miller scored 18 points on the night for the Pirates, but made just 7-of-26 shots from the floor, including 2-of-8 from three-point range. Williford notched his second double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Kenny Bellinger II added 11 points and nine rebounds.
As a team, the Pirates finished the night with a 64-35 edge in rebounding, including a 27-7 edge on the offensive boards.
ASU sophomore Devon Wright-Nelson led all scorers on the night for the Jaguars with 27 points on 9-of-21 shooting from the floor, including 5-of-7 three-pointers. Keels added 11 points as well.