After a home loss to USC Aiken in the midst of a mediocre season by his standards last February, Georgia Regents coach Dip Metress apologized to all of his supporters. Then, he vowed to make his program great again.
“We’re going to get it fixed,” he said at the time.
After a week off dealing with an ice storm and an earthquake, the Jaguars proved again why their coach’s words are ringing true this season.
On Saturday, Ryan Weems posted 20 points as Georgia Regents knocked off Georgia Southwestern, 78-65, in front of a crowd of 1,103.
With the victory, the Jaguars extended their home winning streak to 11. More importantly, Georgia Regents improved to 19-4 overall, 12-2 in the Peach Belt Conference.
With a win today – the Jaguars play host to Columbus State at 4 p.m. at Christenberry Fieldhouse – Georgia Regents will notch its sixth 20-win season in the past eight seasons, first since 2011. Last season, the Jaguars finished at 14-13 – the worst season in Metress’ 10 years in Augusta.
“I thought at the beginning of the year, we’d get better as the year progresses,” he said. “Our three seniors have done a good job of leading us when they’ve all been out there. And we’ve got two good point guards.”
Georgia Regents is playing consecutive games for the first time this season. The Jaguars rescheduled Thursday’s contest with the Cougars because of the ice storm. Now, they’ll play back-to-back contests like they’ll do in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament and likely in the NCAA Tournament in March.
“We’re using these two games to prepare for the (NCAA) Tournament if we’re fortunate enough to make it,” senior forward Harold Doby said. “We’ll have to play back to back then.”
Georgia Regents is not just trying to qualify for the 64-team NCAA Tournament. The Jaguars also are trying to play host to the Southeast Regional – the first region poll of the season is expected to be released Wednesday. Georgia Regents notched another quality win by defeating the Hurricanes (18-7, 10-6).
Weems, the team’s leading scorer, played for the first time since spraining his ankle early in the Feb. 1 game at USC Aiken. With his team struggling to find the bucket early in the game against the Hurricanes, Weems opened with a 3-pointer and later added a layup to kick-start a decisive 21-4 run. Weems shot 6 for 12 for the field as the Jaguars built a 20-point halftime lead and kept the Hurricanes at arm’s length.
“I’m a little out of shape, but I felt good,” Weems said. “I think at first my timing was a little off.”
Daryl Davis and Johathon Brooks each scored 21 points to lead Georgia Southwestern, which shot 50 percent from the field, including a 59 percent effort in the second half.
Georgia Regents shot 55 percent as well and outrebounded Georgia Southwestern, 32-25. K.J. and Keshun Sherrill each added 14 points for the Jaguars.