Jags' defense delivers win

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Forty-one. Forty-one. Forty-two. Forty-three.

The numbers represent opponents' shooting percentages in Dip Metress' first four years at Augusta State. This year, the numbers haven't been as pretty. Adding to the concern, the top-scoring team in the Peach Belt Conference was coming to town.

"I didn't do a good job emphasizing defense," Metress said.

He finally got his point across in practice Sunday. And Augusta State responded Monday night.

The third-ranked Jaguars played their best defense of the season, holding Georgia College & State in check for a 80-68 conference-opening win at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

Augusta State (4-1, 1-0) handed the Bobcats their first defeat of the season. Georgia College & State (4-1, 0-1) entered averaging 103 points per contest, but it shot 36 percent from the field.

Bobcats guard Shaun Keaton came in as the Peach Belt's leading scorer with a 21.8 scoring average. He finished with 18 on 5-for-16 shooting, most of his points coming in the final five minutes of the game.

"We did what (Metress) asked us to do," Jaguars guard Daniel Dixon said, "and that was to play hard-nosed defense."

Augusta State (4-1) bounced back from Saturday's home loss to Virginia Union, when the Panthers shot 55 percent from the floor.

"We're lucky not to be 1-3," Metress said. "We just said we've got to defend."

Augusta State held Georgia College & State to 31 percent shooting in the first half, building a 49-28 halftime lead. The Bobcats pulled to within five late before Dixon drained a 3-pointer and added two free throws to push the margin to 10 with 1:28 remaining.

Dixon, one of six players to score in double figures, came off the bench for 13 points. Ben Madgen posted a team-high 14, while Fred Brathwaite added 13. Greg Hire scored 10 and collected 10 rebounds, while Garret Siler chipped in with 10 points.

Sophomore guard Caleb Brown scored 10 points -- all in the first half -- off the bench. Brown was averaging 2.5 points per game, failing to score in three of the first four games.

"I told him not to worry about offense. Just defend and that'll get you going," Metress said. "And that got him going."

Augusta State shot 64 percent in the first half. The Jags cooled after halftime, posting just seven baskets the final 20 minutes.

"It wasn't really about scoring tonight," Brathwaite said. "It was about defense. ... Defensively, we did OK."

The Jaguars shot a season-best 26-for-29 from the foul line, improving on their average of 65 percent. With defense and free-throw shooting, the Jaguars avoided losing two in a row for the first time since Dec. 9, 2006.

"We were a little disappointed, but losses happen," Dixon said. "The Boston Celtics lose. The Chicago Bulls lost with Michael Jordan there. You just have to bounce back."


GC&SU (4-1, 0-1)--Josh Hurst 3-7 0-0 8, Graham Martin 3-7 0-0 8, Ty Rowland 0-4 0-0 0, Ken Kemp 4-7 2-7 11, Shaun Keaton 5-16 5-5 18, Andre Mikell 0-2 2-2 2, Ryan Aquino 1-7 0-0 2, Jake Rios 4-8 0-0 9, Justin Brown 4-7 0-0 10, Reece Wiedeman 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 24-66 9-14 68.

AUGUSTA STATE (4-1, 1-0)--Fred Brathwaite 5-11 2-2 13, Greg Hire 3-4 4-6 10, Garret Siler 3-4 4-5 10, Ben Madgen 5-11 2-2 14, Steve Smith 0-3 4-4 4, Daniel Dixon 3-5 4-4 13, Tye Beal 0-1 2-2 2, Howard Brown 0-3 2-2 2, Tom Wright 0-0 0-0 0, Caleb Brown 3-7 2-2 10, Sadonas Davis 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 23-50 26-29 80.

Halftime: Augusta State 48-29 3-point goals: GC&SU 11-28 (Hurst 2-4, Martin 2-4, Rowland 0-2, Kemp 1-2, Keaton 3-9, Aquino 0-1, Rios 1-2, Brown 2-4), Augusta State 8-18 (Brathwaite 1-2, Madgen 2-6, Smith 0-2, Dixon 3-4, Brown 2-4). Rebounds: GC&SU 32 (Kemp 8), Augusta State 40 (Hire 10). Assists: GC&SU 19 (Rowland 5), Augusta State 13 (Five players with 2). Turnovers: GC&SU 11, Augusta State 17. Fouls: GC&SU 23, Augusta State 14. Fouled out: none. A-1,002.

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garciadrive 12/16/08 - 06:56 pm
win em all fellas. i got

win em all fellas. i got money on you!

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