PEMBROKE, N.C. – The Augusta University women's basketball team eclipsed a 12 point deficit against the UNC Pembroke Braves, but couldn't complete the comeback effort in the second half to fall 68-62 Monday night in the English E. Jones Center.
Augusta (5-4, 0-3 PBC) had a four-point game with 20 seconds remaining, but the Braves (7-3, 2-1 PBC) fought them off with two late free throws to keep the Jags winless in the Peach Belt.
Augusta shot 38 percent to the Braves' 35 percent from the floor, but they had 14 turnovers to Pembroke's 10. Neither team shined with the three pointer as Augusta shot 5-for-19 (26 percent) and UNCP 6-of-19 (32 percent). It was at the free throw line where the Braves capitalized and shot 67 percent (22-of-33) to the Jags' 53 percent (9-of-17).
The PBC Player of the Week, Abrea Harris, scored 10 first-half points for Augusta and ended the night with a game-high 16 points. The junior transfer finished with seven rebounds and two steals as well.
Senior Tavia Sykes turned in 12 points and drilled a pair of three pointers with five boards. Senior Kayla Lovett nearly had a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Jonissa Monley led UNC Pembroke with 13 points and 14 rebounds, while Ebone Stevens added 11 points.
Augusta scored first in the contest on a jumper from senior Breonna O'Conner. The opening period danced back-and-forth, but the Jags owned a 14-11 lead after Harris canned a jumper with 53 seconds left before the end of the first period.
UNCP's Airico Williams nailed a three pointer to start the second period and tie the game. The Braves used an 8-0 run to open the period and eventually led 30-18 on a layup from Stevens.
Augusta's JJ Williams hit a bucket that ended the UNCP run and sparked a shift in momentum. Harris followed with another jumper and a trey to make it a five-point game. The halftime advantage stayed in favor of UNCP with a 37-28 score.
The Jags outscored UNC Pembroke 19-16 in the third period and trailed by six heading into the final 10 minutes of play. Lovett got to the free throw line with 2:47 left in the game and made both for a 62-59 score. Augusta fouled under a minute to slow the clock and the Braves kept a slight lead.
Harris hit a three ball with 20 seconds left off an assist from Sykes. Down by four after the good three pointer, Augusta had to foul again and lost with the Braves making both free throws.
The busy week progresses on Thursday, Jan. 5 when the Jags host Georgia Southwestern for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff. Augusta also hosts the Montevallo Falcons on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 1:30 p.m. for three Peach Belt games in one week.
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