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College Basketball

Jaguars prevail in PBC opener

In Greenwood, S.C., Augusta State opened up its Peach Belt Conference season with a 73-61 victory over Lander on Saturday night.

Augusta State sophomore guard Devonte Thomas had a game-high 19 points and Harold Doby added 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Devon Wright-Nelson had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Jaguars (5-0, 1-0).

Corey Wright had 16 points for Lander (4-2, 0-1).

Augusta State built as much as a 15-point advantage in the first half, and led 42-29 at the break behind 14 points from Thomas and 10 from Wright-Nelson.

The Jaguars shot 56.3 percent in the opening half and owned a 24-12 edge on the boards.

• In Greenwood, S.C., the Augusta State women ran their record to 6-0 for the first time in 16 years with a 58-53 conference victory over Lander.

It was the Peach Belt opener for both teams, and ended an eight-game Augusta State losing streak to Lander.

Tanchelle Hollingsworth led the Lady Jaguars with 16 points despite hitting only three of 16 from the field. She made up for it by making eight of 10 from the free-throw line. She also hit a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to give the Lady Jags a 56-51 lead.

Taylor Ayers came off the bench to add 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Lea Saunders had 19 points to lead Lander (1-4).

• In Florence, Ala., the North Alabama women built a huge halftime lead and cruised to a 72-54 victory over Paine College.

North Alabama hit 60 percent of its shots in the first half and led 47-22. Paine hit 29 percent.

North Alabama (8-2) cooled off in the second half, but still finished the game hitting 50 percent of its shots.

Ashley Watts led Paine with 21 points. She also had five assists and five rebounds.

BreAsia Burns added 15 points for the Lady Lions
(1-5).

Tennis

Georgian ranked as No. 1 junior

Taylor Townsend, of Stockbridge, Ga., became the first American girl in 30 years to finish No. 1 in the year-end world junior rankings.

The 16-year-old Townsend lost to seventh-seeded Ana Konjuh, of Croatia, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 on Saturday in the semifinals of the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships in Plantation, Fla. But she clinched the top ranking when No. 3 Katerina Siniakova lost in the Orange Bowl doubles quarterfinals.

Gretchen Rush was the last American girl to end the year as ITF world junior singles champion in 1982.

Townsend trains with U.S. Tennis Association national coach Kathy Rinaldi at the player development center in Boca Raton, Fla.

Townsend plans to turn pro in 2013.

Soccer

Messi expected to return today

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has recovered from a knee injury and will attempt to surpass Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old record for most goals in a calendar year when Barcelona plays Real Betis.

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova included Messi in his squad for the Spanish league match at Betis today, saying the forward will play barring a setback.

Vilanova said he didn’t know yet if he would start Messi or bring him off the bench.

The 25-year-old Messi is trying to match Mueller’s record of 85 goals for Bayern Munich and West Germany in 1972. Messi has 84 goals this year for Barcelona and Argentina.

– From staff and wire reports


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