MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – The No. 20 GRU Augusta Jaguars (5-1) went down in the opening minutes to the Mount Olive Trojans (7-0) and never recovered to drop an 82-75 non-conference game for their first loss of the season Sunday afternoon in the Kornegay Arena.
Coming off his season-high 17 points, Jaguar senior Devonte Thomas put GRU up early with a three-pointer off an assist from Keith Crump, but UMO would answer to regain a lead that they never dropped. The 3-2 lead at 18:54 on the clock was the only time the Jaguars were ahead in the game, as the Trojans got a quick 21 points combined from Dontrell Brite and Mike Moore in the first half.
The Trojans went up by as much as 14 when Moore drained a free throw with 6:02 remaining in the first half, thanks to 11 GRU turnovers that UMO capitalized on for 11 points. The Jags cut it to a four-point game with just over 36 seconds in the half, after Thomas hit two from the charity stripe and Keshun Sherrill hit a jumper. James Rucker's trey with 11 seconds left in the first half gave Mount Olive a 35-28 lead heading into the pause.
Thomas led all scorers with 13 at the break, while Sherrill added eight points, two assists, and two boards, but the Jags shot 34.6 percent from the field in the first half.
Dominique Reed boosted Mount Olive to a nine-point lead with a made jump shot for the opening points of the second half and the Trojans took off. UMO went up by 19, the largest lead of the game at the14:24 mark on Kendall Hargrove's layup.
After staying quiet in the opening 20 minutes, GRU seniors D'Angelo Boyce, Henry McCarthy, and Devon Wright-Nelson turned it on, with Wright-Nelson scoring 15 points in the game, Boyce 12 points with five assists and three steals, and McCarthy adding six points and five boards. Boyce and McCarthy were each a perfect 4-for-4 at the line.
The Trojans had four in double figures as they kept their lead out of reach to hand GRU a loss for the first time this season.
The Jags recorded their lowest field-goal percentage of the season at 41.8 percent, but Thomas notched a total of 23 points, the most of all scorers in the game with six rebounds and four three pointers.
The Jags play at crosstown rival Paine College this Wednesday, Dec. 3 for a 7:30 p.m. tip off in Augusta, Ga.
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