Originally created 11/23/05

Howard, Jaguars beat buzzer

He took stats for the Augusta State basketball team last season. He also ran the shot clock at times.

Demetrius Howard had to do something after transferring from Belmont Abbey and sitting out the 2004-05 season.

The sophomore guard finally got his chance to shine Tuesday night.

Howard drained a 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining to lift the Jaguars to a 71-68 win over Benedict in their home opener at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

Tyrekus Bowman scored 20 points with eight boards, while Karim Telfer added 20 points and eight assists to pace Augusta State. Howard scored 11 on 2-for-9 shooting from the perimeter.

Howard said he transferred to Augusta State because he didn't like his situation at Belmont Abbey. And after playing for coach Dip Metress for one season, he wanted to resume that relationship. So he sat out a year, watching from the sidelines.

"I'm so used to playing that was my first time sitting out," Howard said. "So I had to realize I had to take care of business."

In his second game as a Jaguar, Howard helped his team avoid a last-minute meltdown. Augusta State led by eight with four minutes remaining, but it couldn't stop Benedict's potent 3-point attack, which went 8-for-24.

Joel Brown, who scored a game-high 23 points, knocked down a 3-pointer to pull Benedict within two. He later added a layup to knot the game at 68-68.

Howard missed a 3-pointer with 53 seconds remaining after committing a turnover seconds earlier. But there was plenty of time for redemption.

"(Coach Metress) told me I was going to get another shot," Howard said. "He told me to keep my head on my shoulders. And I did."

Instead of giving the ball to Telfer or Bowman for the final shot, Metress went for option No. 3.

"We kind of sent them as decoy," Metress said. "That's an old New York Knicks play from about 10 years ago. I had confidence in 'D' and he was able to knock it down."

The shot sent the crowd of 1,033 fans into a frenzy. And it gave the Jaguars their first win after two exhibition losses and a defeat to crosstown rival Paine.

"It was very important to finally get over that hump," Howard said. "We finally got over it tonight."

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or chris.gay@augustachronicle.com.


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