WINGATE, N.C. – After going down by as much as 15 in the first half, the Augusta Jaguars overcame the Wingate Bulldogs and snapped a two-game losing streak with a 70-61 road win in the Cuddy Arena on Thursday, Dec. 31 for a New Year's Eve matchup.
The Augusta Jaguars (4-5, 0-2 PBC) went down by as much as 15 and were outscored 31-26 in the first half, but steady shooting helped the team produce 44 second half points to the Bulldogs' 30. Augusta turned in a 41.1 field-goal percentage to Wingate's 32.3 percent and the Jags got to the free-throw line to hit 19-of-25 shots (76.0 FT%).
The game was the second-consecutive New Year's Eve matchup between Augusta and Wingate after the Jags won an 83-70 contest on Dec. 31, 2014.
Wingate took the initial bucket and cruised to safe lead thanks to Zerig Lolar's eight early bench points. Augusta trailed by 15 with 7:23 to go in the first half when junior Keshun Sherrill and sophomore Tamyrik Fields turned up the offense.
Sherrill scored eight points to close out the half and buried a three pointer to beat the halftime buzzer for a 31-26 score. Augusta forced 10 turnovers in the first half, but they were outrebounded 29-13 and allowed 16 Bulldog bench points. Sherrill had 12 in the first half and Fields notched eight points and two rebounds.
Sherrill didn't lose his shot in the second half and sunk another from downtown to tie the contest at 31-all to start the half. After Augusta senior Tommy Williams made one at the free-throw line, Sherrill gave the Jags their first lead of the game on another three pointer at the 15:37 mark.
The Jags attacked the rim in the second half and after only shooting three first-half free throws, they produced 17 points at the charity stripe in the second 20 minutes of play.
T. Williams hit a jumper off freshman Aaron Byrd's assist to give the Jags their first lead of the game with 11:24 to go in the game. Augusta never relinquished the lead and survived for the road win. Wingate's Keith Griffin canned a pair of free throws to cut the score to 51-50 with just under seven minutes to go, but junior Keith Crump hit a trey to keep the lead safe.
Sherrill led all players with 26 points and had four rebounds and one block and steal. Crump scored 15 points for the Jags, going 4-of-7 from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 at the free-throw line. Fields had 12 points with five boards and T. Williams posted nine points and a rebound.
Augusta returns to Peach Belt Conference play this Saturday, Jan. 2 to host the UNC Pembroke Braves in Christenberry Fieldhouse at 3:30 p.m. The Jaguar women host the UNCP Braves at 1:30 p.m. in CFH.
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