Originally created 02/22/99

Augusta women ousted



SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Lowell Barnhart's farewell tour came to an end on Sunday.

Augusta State shot just 39 percent from the field and the No. 3 North-seeded Lady Jaguars fell to South No. 2 seed Columbus State 87-69 in the Peach Belt Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals.

With the win, Columbus State will face No. 1 North seed Francis Marion (26-1) in the semifinals on Tuesday at 12 p.m.

"Obviously, this is a difficult time for me right now," said Barnhart, Augusta State's retiring head coach said. "It's not the way I wanted to go out.

"Columbus State beat the tar out of us, literally. They pounded us and pounded us. We're not a physical team and we're not aggressive. If we do anything successful it's with finesse. We were not allowed to play our type of game out there."

Columbus State (24-6) threatened to run away with the game early. The Cougars hit three consecutive 3-pointers and went on an 18-6 run to take an 18-10 lead.

But Britton Thomas made an 8-foot bank shot to cut the lead to 21-20 with 9:33 left in the half.

The Lady Cougars, on the strength of 5-of-11 shooting from three-point range in the first half, opened up a 41-31 lead with 1:52 left in the half.

But Kayla Bolke-Hemmer knocked down a 17-foot jumper and Katie Lawrence added a three-point conversion to bring Augusta State (13-15) within 41-36 at the half.

The Lady Cougars opened the second half with a 6-0 run to take a 47-36 lead.

"We're a little better second-half team," Columbus State head coach Jay Sparks said. "Maybe it takes us 20 minutes to get into the game."

Augusta's Tamiko Benton made two free throws to cut the lead to 53-45 with 13:18 remaining.

Columbus State, however, kept taking the ball to the glass and went on a 22-7 run in a 6:30 span to put the game away. Taneshia Moore capped the run with a driving layup to put the Lady Cougars up 75-52 with 6:48 remaining.

"Physically, they took us out of the game," Barnhart said. "As a result, mentally we lost our game. We were getting pushed and shoved, and beaten on the scoreboard. It broke our spirits. The players were absolutely frustrated out there."

Bolke-Hemmer led the Lady Jaguars with 17 points, while Aimee Haygood added 16. Reagan Housch led the Lady Cougars with 23 points that included five 3-pointers.

In other action, No. 1 North seed Francis Marion defeated South No. 4 seed North Florida 57-43.