Originally created 02/22/98

Frustrating season over for Jaguars



SAVANNAH - It ended with a game so typical of Augusta State's long, often frustrating season.

Lots of heart. Lots of effort. But, on most nights, not enough talent to win.

The Jaguars first season under coach Gary Tuell concluded on Saturday with a 68-46 loss to Kennesaw State in the opening round of the Peach Belt Conference tournament. And as the coach and his players left the floor at the Armstrong Atlantic State University Sports Center, emotions were mixed.

"I'm really surprised and disappointed we didn't play better today, but I'm still proud of them," said Tuell, after the Jaguars finished with a 5-22 record in his first season. "They started out this year devastated (with injuries and ineligibility) and they had to deal with a new coach who asked a lot of them. We weren't very good early, but we got better and better. We just ran out of good players and healthy bodies."

The Jaguars, who tied a school record earlier this season with 13 straight losses, had won three of its last four conference games, and came out confident Saturday, battling Kennesaw State for about 10 minutes.

But with a 12-11 lead midway through the first half, the Owls switched to a zone defense and held the Jaguars scoreless over the next seven minutes to quickly build their lead to 14 points.

"We wanted to come out playing man because we felt we might get flat if we started in a zone," said Kennesaw State coach Greg Yarlett, whose Owls are third in the nation (Division II) in field goal percentage defense, holding teams to an average of 38 percent from the floor. "The plan all along was to get our bearings and then switch to a zone, and it worked out well."

Worked, indeed.

The Owls held Augusta State to 25.9 percent from the field (14-for-54). The Jaguars hit just 4 of 22 shots from 3-point range and no one suffered worse than Jags sophomore Oliver Ottley.

A 48 percent shooter and the Peach Belt's eighth-leading scorer averaging 15.7 points, the former Richmond Academy star was held to a career-low 1 point 0-for-8 shooting.

For Kennesaw State (18-9), which advances to face Francis Marion (23-6) in the second round of the tournament on Monday, its long-range fortunes were quite the opposite.

Led by Shelvick Adderley's game-high 21 points, the Owls shot 47.5 percent from the field including 7 of 17 (41 percent) from 3-point range.

"We choked," Tuell said. "That's the word I used after the game to them. It's not a derogatory word. I just told them it's like me missing four-foot putts. When I miss them, I've choked."

"It's unusual, I don't get 10 or 12 threes a game and tonight I did and I couldn't make them," said Jaguars senior Frank Burau, who scored 10 points in his final game on 3 of 11 shooting. "Coach always tells me to shoot more, tonight I did and I just choked."

AUGUSTA STATE (46)- Burau 3-11 2-2 10, McClain 2-4 0-0 5, Ottley 0-8 1-2 1, Woolfolk 2-7 2-2 6, Taylor 4-10 7-7 15, Brunson 3-12 0-0 7, Larkin 0-0 0-0 0, Paige 0-1 0-0 0, Cato 0-1 0-0 0, Waters 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 14-54 14-15 46.

KENNESAW STATE (68)- Daymon 3-10 1-3 8, Wade 2-7 0-0 4, Ju. Teal 6-15 0-0 13, Adderley 8-13 2-4 21, Little 4-4 0-2 8, McGuire 0-0 0-0 0, Hopf 0-0 0-0 0, Hames 1-2 0-0 3, Burton 1-2 0-0 3, Wright 0-0 0-0 0, Jo. Teal 0-0 0-0 0 4, Kennedy 1-2 0-0 2, Kirksey 2-4 2-2 6. Totals 28-59 5-11 68.

Halftime - Kennesaw State 31-19.

3-point goals: Augusta State 4-22 (Burau 2-10, McClain 1-3, Ottley 0-2, Brunson 1-6, Cato 0-1). Kennesaw State 7-17 (Daymon 1-3, Wade 0-3, Ju. Teal 1-3, Adderley 3-6, Hames 1-1, Burton 1-1). Rebounds: Augusta State 28 (Woolfolk, Taylor 6); Kennesaw State 44 (Ju. Teal 13); Assists: Augusta State 5 (McClain 3); Kennesaw State 17 (Wade 4). Steals: Augusta State 5 (Taylor 2); Kennesaw State 6 (Adderley 2). Turnovers: Augusta State 9 (Taylor 4); Kennesaw State 11 (Little 3). Total fouls: Augusta State 16, Kennesaw State 12).