AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta University women's basketball team hosted the Francis Marion Patriots on Wednesday night and dropped a close 62-60 game in the final seconds inside Christenberry Fieldhouse.
The Peach Belt contest moved Augusta to 3-11 overall and 1-9 in the league, while Francis Marion went to 11-4 the year and 8-2 in the PBC.
AU shot 34 percent from the floor (18-for-53) and only 33.3 percent (7-for-21) from three-point land. They made up for it at the free-throw line and went 17-for-21 (81 percent).
FMU had a 35.4 field-goal percentage (23-for-65) and went 5-for-16 from the arc (31.3 percent), and 57.9 percent at the charity stripe (11-for-19). Augusta outrebounded the Patriots 43-41, but FMU had 12 second chance points and won the points in the paint battle 22-18.
The three pointer hurt the Jags in the first period, as FMU went 4-for-8 from the arc and Augusta 1-4. The Pats were up 24-11 heading into the second period and took halftime with a score of 36-25. AU outscored Francis Marion 14-12 in the second period to help cut the early deficit.
Eight Jaguars recorded points in the first half as the offensive shared the ball across the floor. The second half opened with Augusta on a 6-2 run, but the three pointer plagued them again as FMU rebuilt a 10-point lead.
Belcher's three pointer with 2:07 to go in the third period brought the Jags back within eight points of the lead. The score was still a double-digit difference heading to the final period of play, but Belcher stayed hot from downtown and hit her fourth three pointer, bringing the Jags down 51-48 with just under eight minutes left in the game.
The Jags got a turnover with 5:36 left on the clock and Belcher canned another trey to bring AU within two. She was fouled on the play and made the free throw for a 56-55 game – the Jags' closest mark since the first half.
It was a one-point game for the final minutes of the game, until AU's Cynara Pitt tied the game with an uncontested three pointer at the top of key. With the game even at 60-all, Augusta got the ball with 25 seconds left, but were called a loose ball foul. FMU hit two free throws to hold off the Jags for a 62-60 win.
Augusta returns to Christenberry Fieldhouse this Saturday, Jan. 20 to host Georgia Southwestern for Military Appreciation Day – featuring soldiers from Fort Gordon Military Base. The women's game tips off at 12:00 p.m. and the men follow at 2:00 p.m.
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