Unfortunately for Augusta State, grocery stores don't sell injury bug repellent. If they did, the school would need to fumigate the athletic complex as yet another Jaguar has gone down.
An injury-depleted Jaguar team (5-8, 1-2) will look to snap a two-game skid when it hosts UNC Pembroke tonight at 7:30 p.m. The women's game begins at 5:30 p.m.
Gary Boodnikoff, the Jaguar's main 3-point cannon, however, is down with a lower back problem that will need surgery after the season. The sophomore shooting guard leads the team with 27 3-pointers and is fourth in team scoring with 10.2 points a game. With the injury, though, ASU coach Gary Tuell said that Boodnikoff will play sparingly the rest of the season.
"We'll try to play him accordingly," he said. "He only has about six to eight good minutes in his body, The rest of the time he's out there, he's just filling space. His legs just go dead on him after about eight minutes and he's done."
UNC Pembroke (10-2, 0-2) won its first nine games before losing its last two out of three. The Braves have the No. 1-ranked scoring defense (59.6 ppg), field-goal percentage defense (.343) and 3-point field-goal defense (.173) in the Peach Belt Athletic Conference.
"To beat Pembroke you have to shoot well, because they generally pack their defense in around the basket," Tuell said. "They make you beat them from the perimeter. If you don't shoot well from the perimeter, you usually struggle against that team."
Six-foot-five senior forward Theotis Gibson and 6-6 senior forward Mike Lowery are the girders of the Braves' inside game. Gibson is third in the PBAC in scoring with 17.9 points a game and averages 5.9 rebounds a game, while Lowery is next with 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds a game.
"Gibson is very, very good inside," Tuell said. "I thought he was one of the best post players in the league (last year). Fess (center Festus Hawkins) will have his hands full with Theotis. But Theotis will have his hands full, too."
Hawkins, a 6-10 junior, scored 27 points against Columbus State on Saturday and leads the Jaguars in scoring (14.4 ppg), rebounding (7.2 rpg) and blocks (25).
In the women's matchup, the Lady Braves' (9-3, 1-1) No. 1-ranked offense (84.7 ppg) will face the PBAC's No. 2 scoring defense in the Lady Jaguars (57.3 ppg). Last year's Freshman of the Year, Ginnell Curtis, leads the team with 17.4 points a game and is second in the PBAC in scoring, steals and assists.
Senior guard Christy Bromley leads Augusta State (7-4, 2-1) with 12.4 points a game and needs 44 assists to break Hayley Lystlund's career mark of 510.
Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222.
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