With his team dressing only seven healthy players, Ryan Weems knew he had to do more Thursday night.
Boy, did he ever.
Weems scored a career-high 32 points, including the game-winner in overtime, to lift Augusta State to a 70-68 win over Clayton State.
“I’ve got to step up and be even more aggressive,” the junior guard said. “I’ve got to help the team however I can, scoring, rebounding, defense.”
Weems shot 10 for 23 from the field with five 3-pointers and added a team-high eight rebounds. D’Angelo Boyce added career highs with 17 points and 14 assists.
With the game tied in overtime, Weems dribbled from the top of the key around the left side for a layup with four seconds left. Clayton State tried to tie it, but Omari Murray and Craig Wong missed a pair of layups at the buzzer.
Augusta State (11-8, 6-6 Peach Belt Conference) snapped a three-game losing streak, including two consecutive losses at home.
Coach Dip Metress dismissed a second player from the team days earlier, kicking off backup point guard Josh Samuels for “failure to live up to the standards set by the Jaguar basketball program.” Metress compared his team’s plight to that of a pair of famous American explorers.
“When Lewis and Clark set out to discover the West, they had no plan and they overcame a lot of obstacles to get out there,” he said. “That’s basically what it feels like. We’re going to discover some things along the way.”
Last week, Clayton State coach Gordon Gibbons announced his retirement at the end of the season. With Gibbons wearing his traditional green coat in Augusta, Metress dressed in a blue coat and blue dress shoes.
“It’s fitting we were able to win another close game against them,” Metress said. “I wish Gordon all the best in the future. I probably have more respect for him than anybody in the league.”