The University of West Alabama men's basketball team opened the 2007-08 season with a thrilling 88-82 overtime win over in-state foe Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on Saturday. The season-opening win gives first year head coach Eddie McCarter his first win as head coach of the UWA program. The win also marks the fourth-straight season in which the Red and White have claimed the season lid-lifter.
UWA (1-0) led 75-72 with just 20 ticks left in regulation, but SC's Willie Marbury drained a three-pointer with seven seconds left to play to send the game into overtime. In the extra period, the Tigers outscored SC (0-1) 13-7 thanks to a 10-2 scoring run to open the overtime stanza. The Red and White hit crucial free throws down the stretch to post the win, hitting seven from the charity stripe in overtime. UWA finished the game shooting 53 percent from the field while clamping down on SC, holding it to just 33 percent shooting.
The Tigers placed five players in double figures in the scoring column. Brian Murphy and Maurice Naylor each registered 20 points in affair. Murphy also dished out a team-high five assists. Naylor finished 9-of-11 from the field in 30 minutes of action. Chris Malone tallied 17 points along with Caleb Norman's 14 points. Malone drilled five treys on seven attempts. Kevin Johnson cared a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.
SC was led by Gerard Devaughn with 20 points and 13 boards.
UWA returns to action Wednesday, Nov. 21, against Gulf South Conference Western Division foe Delta State. Start time for the Tiger-Statesmen dual has been moved to 4 p.m. at Pruitt Hall on the UWA campus.