Posted: Friday, March 7th 2014 at 10:36pm
Nighthawks knocked out of PBC tourney
By staff reports
COLUMBUS -– GRU Augusta hit a new Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship record 35 free throws Friday to advance to the semifinals of the 2014 Championships with a 99-87 win over North Georgia at the Lumpkin Center. The loss ends the Nighthawks' season at 12-14 overall.
"I thought it was a hard-fought game. Georgia Regents is a very good team. Hats off to them, they played really well," stated head coach Chris Faulkner in the post-game press conference. "We just could not get the stops we needed to down the stretch to pull it off."
The Jaguars' free throw shooting down the stretch proved pivotal in the game, as GRU made 13-of-14 free throws in the final three minutes of the contest. Guard Keshun Sherrill hit 8-of-8 down stretch, while guard Ryan Weems made 4-of-4.
The duo of Sherrill and Weems led the GRU Augusta scoring attack with 25 and 23 points, respectively.
The game was close throughout much of the contest until the Jaguars pulled away in the final five minutes. GRU's Weems gave the Jaguars an 11-point advantage, 80-69, with 4:46 remaining in the game, which was the first double-digit lead of the contest.
North Georgia answered though and cut the deficit six points, 82-76, on a 3-pointer by Chris Tanzy with 3:11 remaining. GRU Augusta pushed its lead back to double-digits a minute later on a layup by Sherrill and led by at least eight points for the remainder of the game.
Before GRU Augusta took control in the final minutes, the lead changed hands eight times and was tied on five occasions. The 99 points was a season high for GRU Augusta, and the record for made free throws broke the PBC Tournament record of 34 set by the Jaguars in the 2011 Championship game against UNC Pembroke.
The Jaguars led 41-36 at intermission thanks to a flurry of points in the final 30 seconds. After a basket by North Georgia's Shaquan Cantrell, GRU Augusta answered with a basket in the paint by Devon Wright-Nelson. A quick steal and layup by Weems as the buzzer sounded gave the Jaguars a five-point advantage.
Behind Sherrill and Weems, forward KJ Sherrill finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, followed by forward Harold Doby with 11 points.
For North Georgia, forward Ishmael Hollis led the way with 28 points and seven boards. Forward Michael Varrichione and guard Lamar Richardson each chipped in 13 points. Tanzy added 11 points for the Nighthawks.
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