COLUMBUS, Ga. — Augusta State guard O’Neal Armstrong was not ready for his career to be over.
Talking to teammate Tye Beal earlier Friday, the senior said, “You do know that if we lose, we won’t have any more games for our lives.”
Armstrong had 11 points, six assists and two steals to lead the Jaguars to a 71-49 rout of Georgia College in the quarterfinals of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament.
Both teams knew coming in that the winner would be almost assured of receiving a NCAA Division II bid, while the loser would likely miss out.
Coming into the game, Georgia College (17-10) was sixth and Augusta State (17-10) seventh in the Southeast Regional rankings. The top eight will receive berths in the NCAA Tournament.
The Jaguars led 38-19 at halftime on the strength of a 25-10 run and built a 52-23 lead with 14:50 left.
The 49 points scored was a season low for Georgia College. It was also the fewest points allowed by the Jags.
“It was all because of our defense,” Augusta State coach Dip Metress said. “We were in major foul trouble in the first half. We had some lineups out there we wouldn’t run out there in practice.
“We were playing so hard, it made up for some of the mistakes that we made.”
Augusta State was playing without starting guard Devonte Thomas. The freshman will miss the tournament after suffering a broken jaw last Saturday when he was fouled by Armstrong Atlantic’s Stephen Davis, who was dismissed from the team Friday.
Devon Nelson-Wright led the Jags with 22 points and 16 rebounds.