Originally created 12/31/98

Tusculum earns Augusta sweep



After defeating Augusta State on Tuesday night, Tusculum College decided to sweep the Augusta teams.

With Paine College shooting 28 percent from the floor, the Pioneers had no problem in handing the Lions a 73-57 defeat in the Augusta State Holiday Classic on Wednesday night.

Paine (3-5) extended its losing streak to five games with its offense converting only 22-of-78 baskets from the floor.

"We just couldn't get any offense generated," Paine coach Ron Spry said.

While Paine's offense sputtered, Tusculum (10-4) continued its 3-point parade. Mark McClain hit back-to-back 3-pointers in a 30-second span to give Tusculum a 34-22 lead with 4:33 left in the first half.

The Pioneers ended the half with a 39-30 lead.

Tusculum extended its halftime lead to 57-38 on Shane Banks' driving layup with 14:12 remaining in the game. But Paine stayed in the game with its quickness advantage.

The Lions' pressing defense caused Pioneer turnovers and Paine went on a 12-0 run that cut the lead to 57-50 with 11:02 left. Paine's Maurice Wright keyed the run with six points.

But the Lions then went on a 9:20 scoring drought and made just two field goals the rest of the game.

Tusculum put the game out of reach with an 11-0 run that extended its lead to 68-50 with 2:00 remaining. The Pioneers' Tim McPhail and Jeremy Fortner combined for nine points during the run.

"We stayed on 50 several times and couldn't cut into the lead," Spry said. "We just have to do a better job and continue to work."

Wright led Paine with 16 points, while Mac Young -- a former Augusta State player -- added 13.

Chris Gay covers sports for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at 868-1222 or cag112hotmail.com.