Augusta State shakes up starting lineup

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Augusta State will have a new look when it plays host to North Georgia at 7:30 tonight.

Freshmen D’Angelo Boyce and Devonte Thomas will start for the Jaguars in an effort to spark the league’s worst offense.

“It’s not by any means giving up on this year,” Augusta State coach Dip Metress said of the move, adding the two players earned their spots in the lineup. “They give us the best chance to win on Saturday and the rest of this year.”

The move comes on the heels of the Jaguars’ 73-62 loss Wednesday to Armstrong Atlantic State, a defeat that snapped Augusta State’s
41-game regular season home winning streak. Metress is benching senior guards O’Neal Armstrong and Tye Beal, each of whom sat on the sideline to start the second half against the Pirates.

Augusta State (5-6, 1-2), ranks last in the Peach Belt Conference in shooting percentage (39.4) and scoring (67.1).

Thomas is the team’s second-leading scorer behind Harold Doby, averaging 12.4 points a game on a team-best 25 3-pointers. Boyce, who’s averaging just 13.5 minutes a game, is shooting 55 percent from the field, with 31 assists against 12 turnovers.

Metress said he hopes Armstrong and Tye Beal will each provide firepower off the bench.

Despite an assist-turnover line of 39/16, Armstrong has watched his shooting percentage drop from 45 percent last year to 33 percent this season.

Beal’s 3-point shooting percent has dropped from 36 percent to 34, and his free-throw percentage has fallen 15 points to 72 percent.

“O’Neal is doing a good job of leadership, but he’s pressing,” Metress said. “Tye just needs to remain confident in his game.”

In the women’s game, the Lady Jaguars (7-4, 2-1) face the nation’s leading scorer in Lady Saints forward Jaymee Carnes (27.8 scoring average). The women’s contest tips off at 5:30.

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Follow Staff Writer Chris Gay on Twitter at @AUG_ChrisGay.


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