HomeSportsArnold Leads Hot Shooting Jaguars to a Comeback Victory over Emmanuel

Arnold Leads Hot Shooting Jaguars to a Comeback Victory over Emmanuel



Augusta’s Miguel Arnold scored 21 of his game high 26 points in the final 14 minutes of Saturday’s 91-77 win over Emmanuel College. Arnold made 10 of his 11 field goal attempts for the game, leading a red hot Augusta starting five as the No. 11 ranked Jaguars (11-1) shot a sizzling 64% from the field. Tyshaun Crawford (21 points on 8 of 10 shooting), Ja’Queze Kirby (14 points on 6-12 shooting), Darren Lucas-White (12 points on 6 of 9 shooting) and Tyree Myers (8 points on 3 of 4 shooting) joined Arnold in providing an emphatic response to Emmanuel’s own hot shooting start.

The Lions (7-6) shot a blistering 59% from the field and made 8 three pointers during the first half. Augusta trailed 60-50 with 14:33 remaining when Myers lobbed a baseline inbound pass to Kirby, who slammed it home like only he can.

Kirby, a sensational sophomore whose high flying escapades are unlike anything any of his teammates, coaches or fans have witnessed before, played pain free Saturday for the first time since November 12, the second game of the season for the Jaguars. Kirby sprained his ankle a couple days later in practice. And he played through the injury for the next 9 games before a twelve-day holiday break that gave him time to heal before Saturday’s win.

Miguel Arnold drives baseline for Augusta in a New Year’s Eve day game against Emmanuel

Kirby’s dunk, along with inspired defense and overall effort by both Kirby and Lucas-White, seemed to energize the Jaguars during the final 14 minutes. Arnold followed Kirby’s jam with 13 points during the next six minutes to help Augusta take its first lead of the second half when a floater by Arnold put Augusta ahead 67-65 with 7:30 remaining.

Augusta was just getting started. After taking a two-point lead, all five Jaguars scored at least one more field goal while the Jaguars extended their spurt and took an 81-70 lead right before the 2-minute mark. During the stretch run, Kirby scored twice in acrobatic fashion, first on a rim rattling, two-hand jam off an assist from Crawford, and again a minute later on a putback of a David Viti miss that gave Augusta a 75-70 lead with 4:27 remaining.

Then Myers, nicknamed “The Closer” by his teammates years ago, turned the corner on a pick-and-roll to score at the rim with his left hand after an explosive drive, giving the Jaguars a 77-70 advantage.

And Crawford put the finishing touches on a 31-10 spurt that spanned 12 minutes with back-to-back dunks that gave Augusta an 81-70 lead with 2:05 left.

Kirby and Lucas-White performed admirably on the defensive end, holding KJ Jones, the nation’s leading scorer, to 13 points on 3-11 shooting. Jones entered the game averaging 26.9 points per game, and the harassment from Kirby and Lucas-White forced Jones to commit 5 turnovers. Kirby grabbed five steals and Lucas-White 2 for the game.

Augusta outscored Emmanuel 56-24 in the paint. The Jaguars assisted on 20 of their 36 made field goals. Myers led the team with 7 assists, and Kirby (5), Crawford (3), Lucas-White (3) and David Viti (2) all dropped dimes as well. Viti scored 8 points off the bench, including two consecutive three pointers during the first half and a pair of swished free throws that brought Augusta even with Emmanuel at 65 for the first time during the second half.

Darren Lucas-White pushes the ball upcourt for Augusta in a New Year’s Eve day game against Emmanuel

Follow Chad Cook’s coverage of local sports on Facebook, and Instagram at @AugustaPressSports, and on Twitter at @AugPressSports 

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