Cold shooting dooms Lady Jags' upset bid

In Saturday's pre-game warmup, Nicole Mealing swished six halfcourt shots in a row.


So with a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, Augusta State got the ball to its best perimeter threat.

On her worst shooting performance of the season, Mealing misfired again and the Lady Jaguars fell 57-54 to Armstrong Atlantic State.

Seeking an upset, Augusta State fell to 3-9 and 1-4 in league play. The Lady Pirates (10-2, 5-0) moved into first place in the Peach Belt Conference standings.

"We put together a much better effort than we did the past few games," Augusta State coach Tes Sobomehin said. "We've got to be happy with that."

Mealing shot 2-for-16 from the field. Her game-tying 25-foot shot at the end missed long.

Mealing, the Lady Jaguars' leading scorer, had an off night.

So did her teammates. Augusta State shot 31 percent from the field and missed six of 13 free-throw attempts.

Porsha White was the only Lady Jaguar to shoot better than 50 percent from the field, going 4-for-6. She shot 3-for-7 from the foul line and finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Augusta State junior guard Brittany Jarrard led the team with 12 points. Eboni Davis posted her first double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebound.

The Lady Jaguars led by as many as seven early in the second half. Armstrong Atlantic State responded with its front-court tandem of 6-foot-4 center Kelly Versluis and the Peach Belt leading scorer, Lacey Willis.

Versluis scored 12 of her 14 points after halftime. Willis recorded nine of her game-high 15 in the final 12 minutes.

Willis scored on a fast-break layup with 4:18 remaining to reach the 1,000-point career milestone. She now has scored 1,004 career points.

Willis' best move for the Lady Pirates came in the waning moments. With the game tied, she got the ball, drove to the top of the lane. She dished to Ashley Duhart on the left wing for an open 3-pointer. The Lady Pirates took a three-point lead with 2.2 seconds remaining.

"There's no question that Lacey is one of the best offensive threats night in and night out," Armstrong Atlantic State coach Matt Schmidt said. "Because she is, that's going to leave players open."

On the final possession, Davis threw the inbounds pass long to Mealing. She took a dribble and spun left. Her game-tying attempt hit long off the backboard.

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or