Feb. 13, 2010

Courtesy of Augusta State

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Augusta State outscored Montevallo 23-3 in the final 12:44 Saturday afternoon to claim a 61-40 Peach Belt Conference victory in front of a national television audience at Christenberry Fieldhouse.

With Clayton State's 81-70 victory over Francis Marion in Florence, S.C., the Jaguars clinched the PBC East Division title outright.

In a CBS College Sports Network matchup of two of the top seven teams in the Southeast Region, the Jaguars limited UM to just 15 second-half points. The Falcons, who were making their first-ever appearance in Christenberry Fieldhouse, shot just 30.2 percent in the game and only 29.2 percent in the second half.

UM's 40 points were the fewest allowed by ASU since a 67-40 victory at UNC Pembroke on Feb. 16, 2005, a span of 158 games.

With the victory, the Jags improved to 22-2 overall and 14-1 in conference play. ASU extended its home winning streak to 26 in a row and its PBC winning streak to 23 straight at home.

Jaguar senior guard Ben Madgen scored a game-high 19 points, including 13 points in the last six minutes. Alex Smith booked 15 points and eight rebounds while Daniel Dixon tallied seven points, six assists and four steals. Junior guard Caleb Brown had six points and three steals in 15 minutes in place of Fred Brathwaite, who was saddled with foul trouble much of the game.

Cecil Coleman was the lone Falcon to finish in double figures, netting 10 points and matching Smith with a game-high eight rebounds.

"We didn't shoot it well and that made it hard to get into the flow of things," said ASU head coach Dip Metress. "But we had a great defense, which was huge; it was on an individual and a group effort. We probably had our best defensive game of the year."

Smith scored on ASU's first possession and the Jags never trailed, moving out in front 6-0. The Falcons pulled within 12-11 at the 11:30 mark before ASU countered with a 10-0 run. The Jags led by as many as 13 after a Travis Keels' layup with 3:23 left in the half on a feed from Dixon. UM's Demarcus Richard canned a 3-pointer with eight seconds left in the half to cut the Falcons' deficit to 33-25 at the break.

Montevallo outscored ASU 12-5 to start the second half, closing to 38-37 on a Gerald January layup with 12:44 remaining in the game. The Jags scored 15 straight points as UM went a stretch of 9:22 with a field goal, and Madgen's layup with 1:09 left put ASU up 61-40.

ASU makes it first trip to St. Augustine, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 17, to take on Flagler College in a PBC contest at 7:30 p.m.