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St. Augustine’s guard-heavy attack beats Johnson C. Smith 90-88

St. Augustine’s lived to attack J.C. Smith at the rim.

The Falcons drove relentlessly to the hoop in the second half of their CIAA South game at Brayboy Gym and came away with a 90-88 win for a season sweep. Statistically, the teams were nearly even save one area: St. Augustine’s hit more free throws (23-of-34) than J.C. Smith attempted (12-of-17).

“Coach (MarQus) Johnson told us to put them in a ball screen and attack off the ball screen,” said Falcons guard Anthony Gaskins, who led all scorers with 24 points on 7-of-17 shooting. “It was going to be a big man against a guard and they’ve got to foul.”

St. Augustine’s (11-12, 5-8 CIAA) was especially effective at the drive after intermission, daring the Golden Bulls (12-12, 6-7) to step up defensively. Even when J.C. Smith challenged, the Falcons kept possessions alive by grabbing 18 offensive rebounds compared to the Golden Bulls’ 11.

“They were more together, they knew how to win the ball game,” J.C. Smith coach Steve Joyner said. “They stayed on the free throw line. That’s the biggest difference in the ball game.”

Three other Falcons hit double-digits with Raheem Joliffe adding 20, Quincy January scoring 17 to go with 12 rebounds and Tayron Gibson, who chipped in 11 and a steal on J.C. Smith’s final possession to seal the win.

“It builds our confidence up and it makes us play harder each game,” Gaskins said.

Stedmon Lemon scored 21 points to pace the Golden Bulls, who hit 54 percent of their shots. Emilio Parks pumped in 19 points while Raston Brown added 14 and Markell Lotharp 13 by off the bench. It wasn’t offensive productivity that ultimately did in J.C. Smith. St. Aug’s four-guard lineup gave the larger Golden Bulls fits.

“The guards just went around everybody,” Joyner said. “There was no interior defense to pick up, no help defense. They scored 48 second-half points, so what can you say?”