AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Augusta State started cold, shooting 3-of-18 to start the game, but nearly recovered before falling 51-41 to Columbus State in Peach Belt Conference play Monday.
ASU slipped to 8-10 overall and 3-7 in the PBC, while the Lady Cougars improved to 10-7 and 5-3, respectively. The loss marked the seventh straight in the series for the Lady Jags.
Both teams struggled early, combining to miss on their first six shots before ASU junior Tiffany Jaecks laid the first points of the game in. The teams traded baskets, with Amber Peterson's three pulling the Lady Jags within one with 13:38 left in the first half. They failed to make a basket, however, for the next eight minutes as CSU pulled away, entering the half with a 21-11 lead.
"We need to start with more energy, and keep up with the opponent's level of energy," said ASU head coach Nate Teymer.
ASU got off to a better start, scoring the first five points on a J Ashby trey and a Jaecks' jumper to pull within five. The margin varied, falling to one on Jaecks' 10th point of the game, another jumper with 9:36 left in the game. But the Lady Cougars responded, as Dominque Gilbert took Asha Alexander's pass inside for a quick two, and Shan Basley knocked down a three of her own to rebuild a lead the Lady Jags failed to seriously threaten again.
Jaecks and Ashby led ASU with 10 points each, and Brittany White tallied seven assists and three steals on the night.
Gilbert, who entered the night fourth in the conference in points per game (14.5) and fifth in rebounding (8.7) tallied a double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds to pace CSU. Shan Basley added 13 points and five rebounds.
The Lady Jags finished 30.9 percent from the field (17-of-55) despite shooting 5-of-28 in the first half. CSU got nothing going from behind the arc (1-of-11) but made up for it elsewhere, finishing the night shooting 39.2 percent overall.
ASU looks to end a fast and furious homestand with its third game in five days Wednesday against UNC Pembroke. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., in Christenberry Fieldhouse.