With Dip Metress staring down his 350th career win Sunday, Georgia Regents did what it has done best this season – hit clutch shots down the stretch.
Ryan Weems scored 21 points and the Jaguars fended off UNC Pembroke, 76-72, at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Metress, in his 18th season overall, improved to 350-170 (.673 winning percentage). In 10 seasons at Georgia Regents, he sports a 216-77 mark (.737).
More importantly for Metress, his Jaguars improved to 11-2 on the season and remain unbeaten in Peach Belt Conference play (4-0). Georgia Regents has won eight in a row after a late November road loss to Benedict.
“We had a little come-to-Jesus meeting after Benedict,” Metress said. “We didn’t play the right way. Since then, our practices are a little better, except yesterday we didn’t have a good practice. But we’ve been practicing pretty good again.
“We still have weaknesses. But it seems like every night, we have someone different step up for us.”
D’Angelo Boyce came off the bench and stepped up for his team, scoring seven of his 10 points after halftime and adding a team-high seven assists. With the Jaguars watching a 13-point second-half lead slip away, Boyce drilled a 3-pointer to push the margin to 64-59 with 2:50 remaining. Later, Boyce fired a pass to Weems in the right corner for a 3-pointer that pushed the lead to eight with 1:11 to go.
“The good thing about our team is we always find a way no matter what,” Weems said. “I feel confident. We just need to keep the same mentality – one game at a time.”
UNC Pembroke (11-3, 2-2) shot 58 percent from the field, including a 23 for 33 effort (70 percent) from inside the perimeter. But Georgia Regents won the rebounding battle, 31-24, and shot 54 percent from the floor.
The Braves were one of two teams to sweep the Jaguars last season (USC Aiken was the other). That’s something Metress reminded his team about before the game.
“There’s not a lot of teams that do that, and UNC Pembroke is one of them,” Boyce said. “Hopefully, when we go up there we can get them at their place, too, and sweep them this season.”
Ronell Crockett added 13 points for Georgia Regents, while Devon Wright-Nelson chipped in with 12. Weems added a team-best eight rebounds.
Kesheen Hinton led UNC Pembroke with 17 points, while Quamain Rose and Brandon Winford each posted 13.