AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta University men’s basketball team outlasted an overtime home-opener with Paine College on Saturday night and won a 117-108 battle in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
With Head Coach Dip Metress at the helm, the Jags moved to 11-1 against the Lions since his first year in 2004-05. Metress is now 19-1 against Paine College all time including his time at Belmont Abbey.
Leading the Jags (1-1) offensively was junior Keshun Sherrill who had 30. Freshman Ja’Shawn Brooks hit 4-of-5 from three-point land and tallied 24 points total and Tommy Williams added 19 and Keith Crump 18 in the late-minute win.
Each team shot above 50 percent from the floor with the Lions owning a 55.6 field-goal percentage to the Jags’ 54.8. Augusta won the rebound contest 35-32 and scored 33 points off 24 Paine turnovers.
Senior Tommy Williams came out strong for the Jags, connecting on his first two shots and getting to the free throw line to rack up an early five points. The Jags held the advantage, but Denzel Dillingham, the reigning SIAC Player of the Year, nailed an open three at the top of the key to make it 11-all. Don Quarles connected on the next Paine three ball to put the Lions up 15-13 into the first media timeout.
Dillingham hit another deep ball to push Paine ahead 20-13 with 14:30 to go in the first half. Augusta freshman Ja’Shawn Brooks entered the game off the bench and answered with a three pointer to cut it to a two-point affair. Brooks moved off a screen and made another three pointer and he tied the game at 25-all on a driving layup.
Brooks put Augusta ahead with a pair at the charity stripe and the Jags held a slight advantage down to the three minute mark. Off a turnover, Keshun Sherrill found Deane Williams for an alley-oop dunk to ignite the arena and Augusta went into halftime up 50-45.
Paine stole a 57-56 lead on a Reginal Shuford layup to open the second half and the score bounced back and forth within one basket. Freshman Tyvez Monroe hit a trey from a Deane Williams assist to tie the game at 61-all, but the Lions stayed ahead thanks to a persistent Arnis Libasz who made back-to-back three pointers.
The Jags trailed by three with 1:50 to go in the game until Brooks stole a Paine pass and found Sherrill for a layup in transition to move the Augusta with one at 95-94. Augusta drove the floor again for a Sherrill layup to take a one-point lead. Both teams answered three pointers under a minute and the game went into overtime tied 99-all.
After winning D. Williams won the tipoff in OT, Sherrill drilled a deep three ball to put Augusta up 106-101. Paine was forced to foul with the clock dwindling and the Jags hung on for the 117-108 thriller.
Dillingham led all players with 41 points and Libazs posted 22 for Paine.
Augusta hosts Shaw on Saturday, Nov. 28 for a 4:00 p.m. non-conference game, following the women’s hoops single game at 2:00 p.m.
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