Augusta, Ga. – The Augusta University Men's Basketball team fell to the Catawba Indians in a non-conference contest Tuesday evening 94-82.
The Jags are now 2-2 on the season, while the Indians move to 3-1.
Augusta struck first as Lee Flenor delivered a layup under heavy pressure to put Augusta on the board. Rafael Monteiro played a solid game early, delivering on all six field goals attempts for the half. Tyree Myers would sink a pair of free throws fresh off the first media timeout of the contest to give Augusta 12-7 lead.
The Indians battled back to tie it at 14-14 just past the 14 minute mark. After making two of three free throws, after a costly Jag foul, Catawba drained a three point basket to take a 19-14 lead. Monteiro managed a basket-and-one to bring some life back to the Jaguars only moments later.
Strong defense kept the Indians from running away with the game early, as a quick steal by Tyshaun Crawford led to a smooth layup by Darren Lucas-White to make it a one point game at 26-25. At 6:03, Miguel Arnold nailed a three-pointer to give the Jags their first lead since 12:58 in the first. Arnold again would deliver in the clutch, making it a 38-36 Jag lead with another three. The Indians would regain the lead late, extending it to four by tipping in a missed three point basket just as time expired to take a 46-42 margin into halftime.
Augusta started off the second half with a hard fought basket to open the scoring. The Jags missed their opening two shots, but Flenor picked up the final rebound for the score. Troy Cracknell launched a three pointer at the 17:00 mark to make it 52-47. This started a run of three straight three-point field goals to make it a one possession game.
The score remained locked at 56-53, until Catawba put down a field goal in the paint. The visitors picked up three more points on a hoop-and-harm moments later, but Crawford answered right back, using his full 7'-0" frame to nab a rebound and drop it in for two.
Augusta found itself trailing by 10 halfway through the second, but Crawford would provide another spark, slamming home a dunk at 11:01. Monteiro followed it up with a layup fresh off a Crawford rebound only 30 seconds later.
With 7:30 left to play, Catawba managed to keep its distance from Augusta. Arnold put up three more points for the Jags, launching one from the corner to make it a two possession game again at 76-70. The Indians found their offense quickly however, dropping in 10 points to Augusta's seven over a long four-and-a-half minute span. That stretch helped put the game just out of reach of the Jags, with Catawba running out the clock and forcing the home team to foul out of necessity up to the final seconds.
Despite the loss, Monteiro had another excellent offensive performance, scoring 26 points on nine of 11 attempts, while also sinking all eight tosses from the charity stripe. Arnold would also have a quality game, scoring 17 in the contest including five of 10 baskets from beyond the three point arch. Crawford picked up a double-double on the evening, scoring 10 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
The Jaguars hit the road for their next game, traveling to Columbia S.C. on Tuesday, November 26th, to take on Benedict at 7:30 p.m.