A thrown ball. A thrown fist. Now what can we expect this year from the Augusta State-Armstrong Atlantic State rivalry?
After two games of theatrics in 2012, the Peach Belt foes face off again today when the Jaguars play host to the Pirates at 3:30 p.m. at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
In the men’s contest, Armstrong Atlantic State, led by league-leading scorer Aric Miller (24.2 scoring average), is looking to expand its lead over Augusta State in the Peach Belt East Division. The Pirates (8-4 overall, 4-1 conference) lead by a half-game over Augusta State (7-3, 3-1) and USC Aiken (7-4, 3-1).
The Jaguars have lost three of their past four contests, shooting 37 percent from the field in that stretch. Augusta State is 10th in the league with a 43.5 shooting average.
“No one’s making shots,” Jaguars coach Dip Metress said. “If you’re 3-1 and you’re not making shots, you like that scenario.”
Augusta State shot 31 percent from the field when it lost at home last January to the Pirates, who snapped the Jaguars’ 41-game regular season home winning streak. Up nine with 10 seconds remaining in that game, Armstrong coach Jeremy Luther called a timeout. The move didn’t sit well with Metress.
After the timeout, Augusta State remained on its side of the court. Keyshore Williams then scored on a dunk. Then, Augusta State called a timeout. Harold Doby’s inbounds pass sailed high over Luther’s head. After the Pirates ran the final three seconds off the board, the teams exited the floor without shaking hands.
In the return game at the end of the season in Savannah, Ga., Armstrong’s Stephen Davis cold-cocked Augusta State’s Devonte Thomas, breaking his jaw, at the end of the game. Davis was ejected and dismissed from the team.
“It wasn’t ideal circumstances,” Metress said. “I won’t have to remind our guys about that.
“Last year, we acted fine down there. We were told to be careful down there because of what happened here. We went down there and played well. An unfortunate incident happened.”