Originally created 02/11/99

Jaguars win division title



For 20 minutes Wednesday night, Augusta State didn't resemble itself.

It almost looked like UNC Pembroke and Augusta State had changed places. But when all was said and done, a worst-to-first season had been accomplished.

Kavossy Franklin scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half and the Jaguars came back to defeat the Braves 80-61 at the athletic complex and capture their first Peach Belt North Division title.

"It hasn't set in yet," Augusta State junior guard Oliver Ottley said. "To have a winning season and have the fan support, it makes me happy."

Augusta State (17-8, 13-2 PBAC) will play its final regular-season game at Georgia College & State, the South Division champion, on Monday at 7:30 p.m., for the regular-season title.

Franklin came out of halftime scorching as he sparked an 11-2 Jaguar run. He gave Augusta State its first lead of the game at 38-35 on a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 14:59 remaining.

UNC Pembroke (3-21, 1-13) regained the lead at 42-40 on a Brad Harris 10-footer. But Franklin again had the answer.

The senior guard drained a 3-pointer from the left wing to put the Jaguars back on top 43-42, giving Augusta State a lead it would not relinquish.

After Theotis Gibson hit a layup to cut the lead to 54-51, the Jaguars went on a 14-0 run in a 4:23 span. Ottley capped the run with a 3-pointer from the right wing to give Augusta State a 68-51 lead with 4:46 remaining.

Demetric Taylor put the game away with a three-point play that gave the Jaguars a 73-57 lead with 2:35 left in the game.

"In the first half, we played down to their level," Franklin said. "We didn't have any fun. In the second half, I said I was going to play like one of top guards in the league. I didn't want to lose this game."

The Jaguars missed their first 10 shots of the game and fell behind 13-1.

T.J. Ott knocked down a 3-pointer from the left corner to cut the Braves' lead to 15-8 with 11:15 left in the first half.

Gibson converted a three-point play to push UNC Pembroke's lead back up to 11. But Jayme Johnson and Gary Boodnikoff made a pair of 3s to bring the Jaguars within 22-19 with 7:25 left in the first half.

Mike Lowery made a slam dunk to give the Braves a 33-25 lead with 24 seconds left in the half. Ottley hit a driving lay-in to cut UNC Pembroke's lead to 33-27 at the half.

In the women's game, Britton Thomas and Katie Lawrence combined for 49 points to give coach Lowell Barnhart a win in his final home game at Augusta State.

The Lady Jaguars came back from a 14-point, first-half deficit and routed UNC Pembroke 98-82.

"We tried to go out and win it for him," Lawrence said of her coach's home finale. "We knew it meant a lot for him."

UNC Pembroke's Ginnell Curtis hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at 55-all.

But Thomas and Lawrence combined for 16 points during a 19-2 Augusta State run that put the Lady Jaguars up 74-57 with 8:47 left in the game.

In the first half, Augusta State fell down 20-6. But on the strength of 17-of-21 shooting from the free-throw line, the Lady Jaguars got back in the game.

Lawrence made a layup with 46 seconds left in the half to give Augusta State its first lead of the game at 43-41. Thomas tacked on two free throws to give the Lady Jaguars a 45-41 halftime lead.

"When we got out and started pushing the ball down the court, we started to get easy baskets," Lawrence said.

Thomas led the Lady Jaguars with a team-high 25 points, while Lawrence and Tamiko Benton had a pair of double-doubles. Lawrence had 24 points with 11 rebounds, while Benton had 12 points and 11 rebounds.