Yari Scott, it seems, saves his best for Augusta State's gymnasium.
The Paine guard scored nine of his team-high 24 points in the final 2:37 as the Lions held off Allen University, 80-70, in Paine's homecoming game at the Augusta State athletic complex Saturday night.
"It's a nice shooting gym," Scott said. "The rims are soft. It's just a great atmosphere with the fans."
Earlier, the Lady Lions blew a 13-point second-half lead and lost to the Lady Yellow Jackets, 60-55.
Paine (11-9), winners of eight of its past nine games, watched an 18-point, second-half lead disappear. Orvin Holiday made a pair of baskets to cut the Lions' lead to 57-51. But Scott responded with a 3-pointer from the corner to temporarily stop the Yellow Jackets' momentum.
Allen (6-15) came all the way back and tied the game on Andre Wade's dunk. Joel Brown capped the Yellow Jackets' 13-0 run with a 17-foot jumper which gave Allen a 64-60 lead.
"When we got down we knew we had to get back in this game, because they had got their run," Scott said. "It was homecoming and we wanted to have fun. And we played lackadaisical and they got back in the game."
Scott knocked down a jumper to pull Paine within one. He drained another jumper to put Paine up 67-66 with 2:15 left. After an Allen layup, Scott made a 3-pointer to give the lead back to Paine at 70-68. He extended the lead to four with a turn-around jumper.
Colin Jamerson scored five of his 16 points in the final minute as Paine pulled away for the win. Chris Neal tacked on 13 for the Lions.
In the first half, Scott and Gustavus Griffin made back-to-back 3-pointers to spark an 11-0 Paine run midway through the first half. Donald Holt converted a three-point play to stake the Lions to a 24-15 lead.
Holt later canned a trey and Scott bombed one from the left wing to increase the margin to 13. Paine went into halftime with a 40-25 lead.
In the women's game, Paine bolted to a 43-30 lead after going on an 11-2 run. The Lady Lions were ahead 46-37 after a Germaletta Dyson layup.
But Paine's defense, or lack thereof, allowed Allen to get easy baskets in the paint. Monica Davis tied the game at 46 on a layup. Then, Jamika Peterson made two foul shots. Shiree Halley added a 3-pointer as the Lady Yellow Jackets led 51-46 with four minutes left.
"We've been having a lot of mental lapses during games lately," Lady Lions coach Selina Bynum said. "Tonight, we just did not play any defense. We did a poor job of blocking out. We're just getting tighter and tighter in each game."
Paine plays a pair of makeup games Monday. The Lions play at Kennesaw State at 7:30 p.m., while the Lady Lions play host to Newberry at 7 p.m. Paine returns to conference action on Wednesday at home against Fort Valley State (5:30 women, 7:30 men).