AUGUSTA, Ga. – After splitting last weekend's PBC home stand with Armstrong Atlantic and Flagler, the Georgia Southwestern Lady Hurricanes were looking to piece together their first back-to-back conference wins. GSW's trip to Augusta to take on the ASU Lady Jaguars (8-9, 3-6 PBC)would give the Lady Hurricanes the elusive second consecutive PBC victory by a score of 65-59.
The turnover bug, which had dogged Georgia Southwestern in recent history, aided the Lady Jaguars unraveling. The GSW defense conceded 48% shooting from the field, but countered in by forcing 27 turnovers, which included 17 Blue & Gold steals.
Junior forward Adrian Randall scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and registered a steal and a block to lead the Hurricanes to victory. She was supported by Tania Walters (15 points, four rebounds and two assists) and Terra Branch (eleven points and four steals) to round out GSW's leading scorers.
The Lady Jaguars were led by Jemimah Ashby who led all scorers with 21 points. She and Amber Peterson (12 points) were the Augusta State players to record double-digit points.
After opening the game on a 9-2 run in the initial three minutes, the Blue & Gold would hold onto a lead for the entire first half. They would lead 34-25 at the half after seeing their first half lead grow to as large as twelve points. The nine-point halftime lead was due in part to the Lady Hurricanes holding Augusta State to one made field goal over the half's last 5:31.
It was a sloppy affair for both teams as the two combined for 28 first half turnovers. Georgia Southwestern forced 17 Augusta State turnovers, which included ten steals for the Lady Hurricanes. While the Blue & Gold did shoot 42.9% from the field on 15-35 shooting, they were uncharacteristically cold from beyond the arc missing all seven attempts in the game's first 20 minutes.
ASU's Jemimah Ashby led all first half scorers with eight points to go along with her four rebounds and two steals. On the flip side Georgia Southwestern was led by Adrian Randall with seven points and three rebounds and Samantha Smith with five points and five rebounds.
Coach Britsky and company would weather back-to-back baskets in the second half's first moments. The two teams would exchange jump shots over the next five minutes before a Marina Fox point-blank jump shot would force GSW to take timeout as their halftime lead of nine points had withered down to three.
The 12-5 ASU run to open the second half would be reinforced by five more straight points as the Lady Jaguars would take their first lead of the game at 42-40 after 28 minutes of play. Two Terra Branch free throws and a made Adrian Randall jumper would stop the bleeding for GSW, but only after Augusta State's 17-8 run had put them back into the game.
The Lady Hurricanes would have a seven-point lead with 5:44 remaining, and they would relinquish it after battling the shot clock on several offensive possessions. After ASU's Jemimah Ashby would tie the game at 59 with two free throws, the two teams would exchange turnovers before Tania Walters would connect from long range for what would prove to be the game winning shot with 40 seconds left in the game.
The road, conference victory improves Georgia Southwestern's record to 11-4 (3-3 PBC). Coach Britsky and crew will play their next game in just two days at USC Aiken. Monday's battle with the Lady Pacers is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.