Jaguars excited to play at James Brown Arena

Devon Wright-Nelson and his Augusta State teammates practiced five miles from home on a new court, one that’s sure to impress tonight.


Because of graduation this week at Christenberry Fieldhouse, the 12th-ranked Jaguars moved their home game with No. 20 Lincoln Memorial to 6 p.m. today at James Brown Arena.

In July, the Augusta Coliseum Authority approved the purchase of the court – and goals – from the NCAA Division I Tournament played in March. On Tuesday, the teams practiced inside an arena that resembled the Division II Elite Eight setup when Augusta State played 2008-10 in Springfield, Mass.

“It’s nice,” Wright-Nelson said. “It makes you feel like you’re important.”

Augusta State is playing its first game at James Brown Arena
in 17 seasons, and its first top-20 matchup since Jan. 27, 2011.

Last season, Lincoln Mem­orial handed Augusta State a 73-57 defeat in Harro­gate, Tenn., en route to a 26-6 campaign that included a trip to the second round of the Division II Tournament. This year, the Railsplitters are 7-1 and picked up a key region win over King on Sunday after losing a week earlier to Virginia-Wise.

“Last year was arguably the worst loss we’ve received in a long time,” said Augusta State coach Dip Metress, who is 23-10 in top-25 matchups in nine seasons with the Jaguars. “They’re a great club. They’re very well-balanced. They’re one of the best teams in this part of the country.”

Lincoln Memorial is led by 6-foot-10 forward Jake Troyli, who is averaging 15.0 points and 5.3 rebounds a game, and guard Wally Jones (14.1 points, 4.1 boards). The Railsplitters are
shooting 50 percent from the field, scoring 84.8 points a game.

Augusta State is 6-0 and has five players averaging double digits in scoring. Devonte Thomas leads with a 14.8 average. He is followed by Ryan Weems (14.5), Wright-Nelson (13.3), Harold Doby (13.2) and D’Angelo Boyce (10.2).

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WHO: No. 20 Lincoln Memorial (7-1) vs. No. 12 Augusta State (6-0)

WHERE: James Brown Arena

WHEN: 6 tonight

TICKETS: $7 adults, $5 military personnel, their families and seniors. All Augusta State/Georgia Health Sciences students, faculty and staff will be admitted free. The donation of an unwrapped gift will also gain fans free admission.

NOTE: At halftime, Augusta State will recognize alumnus and outgoing Augusta-Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength.


The Paine men travel to play USC Aiken for the first time in 15 seasons when they face off at 7:30 p.m. at the convocation center. The third-ranked Lady Pacers play host to Anderson at 5:30.

The Pacers (5-2) have won three in a row after losing on the road to Winston-Salem State and Benedict. USC Aiken will face a Paine squad (2-2) that demolished West Georgia on Saturday behind Jerel Stephenson’s 23 points and 10 rebounds in his debut with the Lions.

– From staff reports



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