Augusta State got a surprise when Lander coach Chipper Bagwell showed up for Monday night's game against West Georgia.
He may not have seen much, though, as the Jaguar offense struggled at times with the late addition of center Festus Hawkins in the lineup. But you can't blame Bagwell for getting as many looks at the Jaguars as he can. Augusta State edged out Lander the past two seasons to win the Peach Belt North Division. Also, Augusta State coach Gary Tuell is 5-1 against Bagwell including a five-game winning streak against the Senators.
The Jaguars play host to Lander on Jan. 13 before traveling to Greenwood, S.C., on Feb. 3.
Augusta State (2-1) faces its toughest test of the season in the three-day Queens College Classic which begins today. The Jaguars open up with Rollins (3-1) today at 6 p.m. and will play either No. 10 Wingate or Gardner Webb on Friday. The Jaguars face a yet-to-be-determined opponent on Saturday.
Greg Wilson is noting a disturbing trend. Through three games, his Lady Jaguar team is actually shooting 3-pointers worse than last year. Last year's team shot 26 perimeter from behind the arc. This year, Augusta State is shooting the three at a 5-for-29 clip, 17 percent.
The Stony Brook University connection is sparking the Lady Pacers. Transfers center Courtney Ray and guard Julie Szabo are averaging a combined 28 points and 10 rebounds a game.
The 6-foot-3 Ray leads the team with 14.7 points and 7.7 rebounds a game while Szabo is averaging 13.3 ppg.
The Lady Pacers (5-1) got good news on Wednesday when they received another vote in the current USA Today/Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division II poll. USC Aiken now has two votes and is 54 votes out of the top 25.
The Janell Gerk watch is already on. The senior guard who led NCAA Division II with 111 3-pointers last season now has a conference-leading 20 in six games this season.
The USC Aike men (1-3) have gotten few breaks this season, losing a pair of overtime games to Presbyterian and Carson-Newman. However, Dain Brown and Chris Robinson have been solid and Areon Atkinson is continuing to hit from three-point range.
Atkinson, who was second to Brown last season in three-point shooting, leads the Pacers with 10-of-30 shooting on 3-pointers.
Tiffany Isaac missed Tuesday night's game at Emmanuel College and will also miss tonight's game at Benedict College. Coach Selina Bynum is resting her sophomore guard because of a knee injury Isaac suffered during volleyball season.
Isaac didn't tear any knee ligaments. But the quick transition from volleyball to basketball never gave her enough time to let the injury heal.
"She can still go," Bynum said. "But she's not 100 percent. Right now, I'd rather have her for our conference game on Saturday."
The Lions and Lady Lions will open their conference schedule at Kentucky State University on Saturday night. The teams will then travel to conference foes Miles (Dec. 8) and Albany State (Dec. 12) before taking a three-week break.
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