AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta Jaguars survived a Peach Belt Conference contest with the No. 21 Columbus State Cougars and won a 81-77 battle in the closing minute on Saturday afternoon in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Augusta (9-6, 5-3 PBC) trailed by three with three minutes to play against the Cougars (12-3, 6-2 PBC) when junior Keshun Sherrill sunk two free throws for a 73-72 score. Senior Tommy Williams was fouled on an offensive rebound in the next trip down the floor that resulted in a free throw for a tie game at 73-all.
After CSU hit one at the charity stripe, Sherrill hit a fade-away trey to put the Jags up 76-74 and connected on three free throws in the closing seconds to hold off the Cougars for an 81-77 final.
Sherrill had a game-high 27 points and contributed five rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Freshman Aaron Byrd notched 12 points off the bench and senior Tommy Williams and sophomore Tamyrik Fields each had a double-double in the win. T. Williams had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Fields 10 points and 10 boards.
CSU posted a better field-goal percentage with 43.6% to the Jags' 42.6%, but Augusta outrebounded the Cougars 48-to-24 and hit 27-of-35 free throws (77.1%) in the contest.
With 7:35 to play in the first half, Augusta freshman Ben Ursich came off the bench and nailed his first three-point attempt of the game. Freshman Tyvez Monroe made a layup on the next possession to put Augusta up 34-27 and Ursich stayed hot from beyond the arc and hit a corner trey in the first half.
A pair of Deane Williams free throws moved the lead to 47-39 for the Jags under 35 seconds in the opening half. Augusta shot 56.3% from the floor and took the half up 47-41.
Augusta outrebounded the Cougars 22-13 in the opening half to help them to their early lead and shot 80% from three-point land to CSU's 33.3% from the three-point range.
A Keshun Sherrill three pointer found the bottom of the net to begin the second half and Augusta led by eight after the opening two minutes. CSU's Brentine Taylor had a momentum-stealing dunk to bring the Cougars close and a JaCori Payne layup made it a 52-48 game.
CSU threatened with a four-point game, but Sherrill hit a three at the top of the key and made two free throws in the next possession to keep the Jags safe. The lead dwindled after numerous Jaguar fouls that put CSU to the charity stripe. A pair from the Cougars cut it to a one-basket game and a steal and a fast-break layup tied the contest at 59-all
Augusta dropped the lead 62-59 with 9:30 to play on an and-one play and trailed by six with seven to play. Freshman Aaron Byrd hit a deep three pointer for a 67-64 game and he managed to knock down a pair of free throws on the next Jaguar offensive attempt.
Byrd found Sherrill in the corner with a minute racing on the clock for the go-ahead basket. CSU's Brent Jackson had 17 points to lead the visiting team and Brentine Taylor had 15 points and seven rebounds.
The Jaguars host the Young Harris Mountain Lions on Monday, Jan. 18 for a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day matchup at 3:30 p.m. in Christenberry Fieldhouse. The Augusta men tipoff at 1:30 p.m. and The Family Y of Augusta South will hold a youth boys basketball game during the men's halftime on the Christenberry gym floor.
Fans of Jaguar Athletics can subscribe to the email listserve by clicking here. Fans can follow Augusta Athletics at www.jaguarsroar.com and receive short updates here: Facebook - Augusta University Athletics, Twitter - @AUG_Athletics, Instagram - AUG_Athletics
-- 30 --