Lions drop the finale at Carter

Augusta State's Caleb Brown is fouled by Thomas Broughton as he drives in for a layup during a 20-point win over Paine.

Augusta State closed out Carter Gym in record-setting fashion. It's not exactly what the home team wanted.


In their final game in their home arena, the Paine men struggled from the floor and fell to the 18th-ranked Jaguars, 59-39 on Thursday night.

Augusta State allowed the fewest points in a game in coach Dip Metress' seventh season and fewest since allowing 26 points to USC Aiken during the 1978-79 season. Last season, the Jaguars defeated Montevallo, 61-40.

"We set the game of basketball back," Metress said. "Both teams did."

Augusta State improved to 5-0 for the second year in a row despite shooting 40 percent from the floor and committing 14 turnovers. The Jaguars, who entered allowing just 59.5 points a game, never allowed the Lions to get into a rhythm.

Paine (1-3), which lost its seventh in a row to its city rival, shot 26 percent from the field, including a 2 for 24 effort from the perimeter. Thomas Broughton had 17 points to lead the Lions, while Chris Hunt added 10 points and six rebounds.

"We don't have all the talent we've had in the past," said Augusta State guard Caleb Brown, who came off the bench for a team-high 11 points. "But this year, I think we're better defensively. We're a little more agile, a little quicker."

"Sometimes our defense was pretty good," Metress said. "But tonight (Paine) couldn't make any shots."

Augusta State entered with only nine players after senior guard George Johnson, the team's second- leading scorer, sat out because of a one-game suspension from the Peach Belt Conference. Johnson was ejected for fighting in the previous game against Life.

Sophomore guard Ben Purser took Johnson's starting lineup spot and came alive midway through the first half. Purser drove hard to the hole for a lay-in for his first bucket. He followed with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to stake the Jaguars to an 18-9 lead.

Augusta State allowed its fewest points in a half this season, taking a 25-16 lead at the break. Paine shot 4 for 22 from the field in the first half.

The Jaguars went on a 13-1 run early in the second half to pull away. Howard Brown's putback with 11:41 remaining staked Augusta State to a 39-21 advantage.

"We've been working on playing against their trap," Purser said. "Dip kind of knew what was coming and prepared us well."