In the team’s first game since losing Harold Doby to injury, Georgia Regents came together to produce a balanced effort.
The Jaguars maintained a tight lead through the second half en route to an 84-76 win over Lander on Saturday night at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Four days after the team announced Doby would miss four to six weeks with a left foot injury, Georgia Regents was tasked with its first Peach Belt Conference game. The Jaguars picked up for Doby by receiving double-digit points from six players.
“The biggest thing Doby brings is rebounding and energy, and we weren’t lacking in either tonight,” coach Dip Metress said. “If we can survive this stretch, it’ll be best for the team, because it means more guys getting playing time.”
Devonte Thomas led Georgia Regents (5-2, 1-0 PBC) with 19 points, including 4 for 8 from the 3-point line. Keshun Sherrill went 4 for 5 in field goals for 13 points.
K.J. Sherrill recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
“We had some big plays from guys off the bench,” Thomas said. “We played tough defense and made free throws, and that was the focus. We stayed focused and the team came together.”
Lander took an early lead and held it at 22-18 with 7:32 left in the first half. Georgia Regents’ first lead came at 5:48, and the Jaguars maintained it through the half, leading 34-32 at the break.
The Jaguars played a balanced first half with a combined 16 points between Thomas and Devon Wright-Nelson. They shot 43 percent as a team and went 10 for 11 from the free-throw line.
The two teams tied twice to begin the second half. Georgia Regents jumped to a lead near the 10-minute mark and held it for the remainder of the game despite not pulling away until the final minutes.
Ryan Weems made a crucial 3-pointer with 1:32 left for a seven-point lead, which sparked the Jaguars to pull away. Their biggest lead came with 22 seconds left at 80-69.
“Weems hit a big shot there,” Metress said. “Then we settled down and guarded. We played good defense down the stretch.”
Lander (4-4, 0-1 PBC) received a game-high 21 points from Michael Panaggio. Mike Lee added 11 points and five rebounds.