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Former Local H.S. Stars have Big Games in Savannah

Jareal Smith scored 22 points to lead Lander over Armstrong 68-61 Monday night at Alumni Arena in Savannah.  Smith is a senior who played at Johnson High School.



Former Windsor Forest star Ty Reynolds scored a career-high 26 points, only her Lander Lady Bearcats fell to Armstrong 72-69.  Bryonna Davis hit a 3-pointer with a minute left to give the Lady Pirates their first lead in the second half.  Davis, who was named Peach Belt Player of the Week earlier in the day, scored 18 points.

Armstrong ladies have won eight straight.



SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Armstrong Atlantic State University men's basketball team shot just 25.9 percent in the second half, falling to Lander University by a 68-61 score in Peach Belt Conference action on Monday evening at Alumni Arena.

The Pirates (8-16, 5-12 PBC) remain tied in the win column for the fourth and final spot in the PBC East Division standings, while Lander (15-9, 9-6 PBC) clinched its spot in the league tournament with the win on Monday.

A cleanly-played first half saw the Pirates take a 33-32 lead at the break on Eric Eversley's layup with four seconds left in the first half. There were only four fouls total called in the first period combined on either team and Hichem Benayad-Cherif led the Pirates at the break with 10 points.

The Bearcats opened the second half on a 12-2 run over the first five minutes and extended that lead to 11 points, 54-43, on a three-point play by Jareal Smith with 8:05 remaining in the contest. Armstrong cut that lead to three, 54-51, on a layup by Carlos Brown with 5:24 left, but the Bearcats extended the lead back to nine over the next two minutes and held on for the win.

Armstrong made just 7-of-27 shots from the floor after the break and struggled from long range on the evening, making just 6-of-27 three-pointers for 22.2 percent.

Benayad-Cherif led the Pirates offensively with 12 points on the night while Bellinger had 10 points and Eversley finished with nine points and a season-high 16 rebounds. 

Savannah native Jareal Smith led the Bearcats with 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor, including 4-of-7 three-pointers, while Mario Pendarvis added 13 pointss and J.R. Washington chipped in a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Armstrong returns to action on Saturday, February 22nd, hosting No. 12-ranked USC Aiken in a 7:30 p.m. Peach Belt Conference contest at Alumni Arena.



SAVANNAH, Ga. - Armstrong Atlantic State University senior Bryonna Davis hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 59.6 seconds left to lift the Pirates to a 72-69 Peach Belt Conference women's basketball victory over visiting Lander University on Monday afternoon at Alumni Arena, the eighth straight win for Armstrong.

The Pirates (17-6, 12-5 PBC) remain in contention for the Peach Belt Conference regular season title with the victory, while Lander (10-14, 5-10 PBC) sees its modest two-game win streak come to a close.

A tightly-contested first half saw the Pirates turn to freshman Brigitta Barta, who delivered 15 first-half points to help Armstrong go into the break tied at 35-all. Savannah native and Lander freshman Ty'hesha Reynolds kept pace with 12 first-half points for the Bearcats.

In the second half, Lander opened play with a 6-0 run in the first two and a half minutes to take a 41-35 lead. The Bearcats led by as many as eight after the break and maintained the lead until Davis, named the PBC's Player of the Week on Monday afternoon for the second time this season, drilled an open three with just under a minute remaining to put Armstrong up 70-68, the Pirates' first lead of the second half.

Alyssia Watkins hit one of two free throws for Lander with 28 seconds left, but Davis then hit two free throws to stretch the lead to three, 72-69, with 20 seconds remaining. The Bearcats had two tries at game-tying three-pointers, but missed the mark on both to keep Armstrong's longest winning streak since 2003-04 alive.

"She's been clutch of late," Armstrong head coach Fala Bullock said of Davis' go-ahead shot. "She's the go-to player on the team and doesn't have a conscience, she just wants to win and her competitive spirit takes over and in those late-game situations, she wants that shot."

Armstrong clinched the PBC East Division title on Saturday with a win at Flagler with three games left to go in the schedule.  "I think we're fighting that a bit," Bullock said. "We feel like we're in cruise control. It's one thing to win and have that confidence, but we're in the position that we expect it but we don't feel like we have to work as hard before. I think if we can fight through that we will be ok."

Barta made 9-of-16 shots from the floor en route to a team-high 21 points, while Davis finished the night with 18 points - 15 in the second half - for Armstrong. Amber Howell added 11 points and eight rebounds as well.

Reynolds led the way for the Bearcats with a career-high 26 points, while Kayla West added 20 points and Alexis Armstrong notched 12 points.

Armstrong returns to action on Saturday, February 22nd, hosting USC Aiken in a 5:30 p.m. Peach Belt Conference contest at Alumni Arena.

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