ASU men's basketball coach Chris Cameron led his team to a huge road win Thursday against Benedict --- the top team in the conference.
AUGUSTA — If the Golden Rams keep this up, they may stop being called underdogs in these big conference matchups.
Two days after knocking off Benedict — the top team in the conference — the Albany State men’s basketball team went toe-to-toe Saturday with Paine — the No. 2 team in the conference.
The Rams (5-6, 4-5) didn’t upset Paine, but they made things interesting, losing, 76-73, in overtime.
ASU had started the season 1-3 in the conference but has since won three of its last five conference games and has itself back near the middle of the standings. Saturday night’s game at Paine was a testament to how competitive the Rams can be against the top teams in the conference.
“Our guys played hard and played well,” Albany State coach Chris Cameron said. “They are the No. 2 team in the conference, and we played hard enough to win, but we just made some mistakes.”
Justin Wilcox, who led ASU with 17 points and nine rebounds, missed a jump shot at the end of regulation that would have given the Rams the victory seconds after Paine hit a deep 3-pointer to tie it.
“We had thought he had made it,” Cameron said. “It would have been a nice way to go out to hit a big shot right after they made a big shot.”
ASU had a one-point advantage in the final minute of overtime, but a series of turnovers let Paine regain the lead and improve to 8-4 overall and 7-3 in the conference. Also scoring in double figures for the Rams were Rachard Lofton and Derein Chatman with 17 and 10 points, respectively.
ASU WOMEN 82, PAINE 77: The Lady Rams got their fourth conference win in their last five games Saturday against a slumping Paine team that has now lost seven of its last eight games.
Former Bainbridge star April Thomas led the Lady Rams (5-8, 5-4) with 26 points and five assists, while Arneshia Williams finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Breanna Fields had 14 points and seven rebounds.
The Lady Rams made key plays down the stretch to hold off a Paine comeback, but ASU still committed 33 turnovers — a number much higher than coach Robert Skinner would have liked.
“We played bad, but we won,” Skinner said. “A lot of it was due to the double overtime game (Thursday against Benedict). I knew we would be tired and make mistakes coming off one day of rest.”
SOUTH GEORGIA TECH WOMEN 58, GEORGIA PERIMETER 49: First place was on the line in Region XVII, and the Lady Jets were up to the task.
South Georgia Tech and Georgia Perimeter were the lone undefeated teams in the conference coming into Saturday’s matchup, and with the nine-point victory, the Lady Jets are the ones left standing.
“There are still a lot of games to play and a lot of good teams. We still have to go up there, but it was nice to get this one early,” Lady Jets coach Brandan Harrell said. “Our sophomores know that we only lost four games last year, and three of them were to Perimeter. Not only was there incentive for this year, but those kids remembered (last year) and it makes them play a little harder.”
The Lady Jets (11-8, 6-0) were led by Shontae McCall, who had 17 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Also scoring in double figures were Samantha Phillips and Inna Leja with 12 apiece and Shanique Holston with 11.
ALBANY TECH MEN 60, MIDDLE GEORGIA COLLEGE 51: Former Westover star and Herald Player of the Year Terrance Noel scored 25 points and dished out six assists to lead Albany Tech to a 60-51 overtime victory against Middle Georgia College on Saturday — the second straight OT win for ATC.
Former Worth County star Jamorris Gaines added 18 points and seven rebounds, while Terrell County grad Robert Ellis had 12 rebounds, eight blocks and four points for Albany Tech (10-8, 4-2 in Region XVII).
The win sets up a huge game on Tuesday with region-leading Georgia Perimeter, which is 6-0 in region play.
“We haven’t played (GPC) yet, but they are big and athletic,” Albany Tech coach Sylvester Patterson said.
DARTON WOMEN 76, CHATTAHOOCHEE TECH 54: The Darton women won on the road in Marietta on Saturday, getting 18 points and 10 rebounds from Michelle Mitchell and 16 points from Christina Brown.
Dougherty grad LaKandra Beeks added 10 points and Lauren Johnson had a team-high eight assists for the Lady Cavs (10-6, 5-3), who play next Saturday at home against Georgia Perimeter.
ATLANTA METRO WOMEN 84, ANDREW 58: Andrew College stayed winless in Region XVII play Saturday with a 26-point loss to Atlanta Metro.
Andrew (10-7, 0-5) was led by Angel Penn’s 18 points, while Jebreal Alford chipped in 15 points.