AUGUSTA, Ga. – The top-seeded and No. 24 nationally-ranked Augusta University men's basketball team won its 12th straight game on Saturday night with a 77-77 victory over fourth-seeded UNC Pembroke in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinal game. Augusta advances to the PBC Tournament Championship game for the ninth time in school history and plays the winner of USC Aiken and Francis Marion on Sunday, March 10 at 4:00 p.m. in Christenberry Fieldhouse.
No. 24 Augusta (25-5)
UNC Pembroke (21-9)
Seated second in the NCAA Southeast Region, Augusta recovered from a slow start and cruised to the win in their 15th appearance all time in the PBC semifinal game. AU freshman Tyree Myers was perfect in the first half – hitting 6-for-6 from the field-goal range, 2-for-2 from three-point land, and making his only free throw attempt. Myers and Jags junior Rafael Monteiro, a second team All-PBC honoree, each finished with 20 points, while Myers added five assists, three rebounds, and two steals. Monteiro chipped in six rebounds, while PBC Defensive Player of the Year, Co-Player of the Year, and first-team All-PBC selection Deane Williams added 16 points and eight rebounds.
UNCP jumped to a 7-0 run to start the game and held the lead until the final two minutes of the first half. Myers drilled a three pointer off an assist from sophomore Troy Cracknell and Augusta took its first lead of the day, 38-37, with 1:52 on the clock. The Jaguars led 42-39 at halftime thanks to a 56.0 field-goal percentage to UNCP's 48.5.
Augusta built a 10-point lead with just under five minutes remaining in the game and never looked back.
The 2018-19 PBC Coach of the Year, Dip Metress, has never missed a trip to the Peach Belt Tournament in his 15 seasons at the helm of the program. Hosting the event for the seventh time in school history, Augusta seeks its fifth tournament title and it's third for Metress. The Jags now have a 32-23 record all time in the event.