Siler has big night in Jaguars' rout

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After missing his first shot of the game, on a dunk attempt, Garret Siler received an earful from coach Dip Metress -- words that cannot be printed in a family newspaper.

"There were some exclamations. Some star signs," Siler said.

Siler didn't miss again as he and Daniel Dixon combined for 40 points in No. 10 Augusta State's blowout win over UNC Pembroke, 81-46, at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

The Jaguars played the classic trap game after defeating then-No. 2 USC Aiken on Monday night. They play host to Armstrong Atlantic State (which received votes in the latest Division II poll) on Saturday.

"Don't play lackadaisical" Metress said to his team.

He mentioned to his players at halftime they blew big leads in close wins over Georgia College & State and Bowie State. "I said, 'Don't do that. Don't let that happen.' "

Augusta State shook off a slow start to improve to 9-2 overall -- matching its best start since the 1977-78 season -- and 3-1 in Peach Belt Conference play. The Jaguars shot 51 percent from the field, with their bench playing almost all of the second half.

Siler recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 22 points and 10 rebounds. He added six blocks and eight dunks.

The senior center shot 10-for-11 from the field. He took advantage of the Braves trying to front him with one player. Whatever help rarely came from the back side.

"They had a good setup where they were going to try to front me," Siler said. "More power to them."

Siler and Dixon combined to score 34 points in the first half as Augusta State went into intermission with a 45-28 lead.

Dixon did all his damage in the first half, knocking down six 3-pointers on eight attempts for 18 points -- all in 13 minutes. At halftime, he caught a stomach bug. He played one minute in the second half, missing one 3-point attempt. Afterward, he sat away from everyone at the end of the bench with a towel over his head.

Backup center Jason Killeen came off the bench to post career highs in points (14) and rebounds (six). He played 19 minutes, his longest outing since spraining his medial collateral ligament in December against Virginia Union.

"It's good to get out there," Killeen said, "and run up and down the floor a little bit."

UNC Pembroke (3-8, 0-4) entered seeking its first win in Augusta in seven years. The Braves never had a chance, shooting 33 percent from the floor and committing 17 turnovers.

UNC Pembroke did hold two of Augusta State's hottest players in check. Junior guard Ben Madgen entered as the Peach Belt Conference leading scorer, averaging 19.7 points a game. He shot 3-for-8 from the field for nine points, his lowest-scoring total of the season.

Fred Brathwaite, the team's third-leading scorer, played his fewest minutes of the season (17) and was held scoreless for the first time.

Killeen said that's the mark of a good team when two guys averaging a combined 33 points are limited to nine and the team still wins big.

"We're playing really well and really jelling together," he said. "Somebody comes out and there's no letdown when somebody else goes in. That's very important."

With Augusta State up 61-33, Metress pulled his starters eight minutes into the second half.

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


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