AUGUSTA, Ga. – Junior Jareal Smith hit the go-ahead jumper from the right side to give Lander a 58-56 Peach Belt Conference upset win over Augusta State Wednesday night in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
ASU slid to 12-11 overall and 7-9 in the PBC with the loss, while Lander improves to 8-15 and 3-13 in the conference.
Tied 56-all, the Bearcats stole the dribble from ASU at the top of the key with under a minute to play. Smith took the ball at the perimeter and drove to the right side for the winning shot. Lander shot 76 percent in the second half to ASU's 50 percent and scored 28 points in the paint to the Jaguars' 12.
Jags sophomore D'Angelo Boyce dished out eight assists in the first half, providing senior Travis Keels, sophomore Devon-Wright Nelson, and freshman Michael Graham all the looks, with the trio scoring all of ASU's 21 points in the first half. The Jags went up by as much as 12 in the opening half, but five unanswered Bearcats buckets brought the half to 21-18.
LU sophomore Dermaine Smith, who had a game-high 27 points, notched 11 of Lander's 18 in the first half. The Bearcats out-rebounded the Jags 25-to-19 and scored 10 points off fast breaks.
LU struck first, but ASU took the lead back when Keels slammed home a dunk. The Jags increased their lead by as much as 12, but five consecutive buckets closed the gap for the Bearcats. With 6:51 left, two Boyce 3-pointers put the Jags up 50-48 and another trey from sophomore Devonte Thomas stretched the lead to five. A foul on junior Ryan Weems led to three Bearcat's free throws and a layup from D. Smith brought it to 56-all. J. Smith closed it out with his jumper from the right to outlast ASU.
Thomas paced the Jags with 18 points and Boyce notched his third double-double of the year with 12 points and 11 assists. Keels added 10 points and six rebounds.
ASU hosts a PBC contest against Francis Marion for homecoming and senior night in the last home game of the season on Feb. 23 at 3:30 p.m. in Christenberry Fieldhouse.