LIVINGSTON, Ala. An 11-2 run to start the second half provided the space needed for the Alabama Huntsville Chargers to come away with a 65-61 win over the University of West Alabama men's basketball team Thursday night in Pruitt Hall Gymnasium in Gulf South Conference action.
UWA falls to 12-4 on the season and 5-3 in the GSC while UAH is now 14-3 and 6-3 in conference play.
"When you look at the score you think we did a pretty good job defensively. They only got 65, but it was one of our worst efforts this season on the defensive end," said Head coach Allen Sharpe. "They shot 57 percent from the field and 45 percent from three. You're not going to beat anybody when they shoot that kind of percentage against you. It's disappointing because it's what we've hung our hat on all year and we didn't step up."
With the score tied 35-35 at the half the game seemed like it would stay back and forth, however the strong second half run to start coupled with the hot shooting for the Chargers and the cold offense from UWA helped UAH edge out the win.
"Give Huntsville a lot of credit. They did a good job mixing up the defenses going from zone to man and back. They did a good job of keeping us off balance," said Sharpe. For whatever reason, it was almost like across the board everyone did a poor job scoring."
Despite the poor shooting, the Tigers did get the lead down to 61-60 off two free throws from Ricky Dunnaway with 49 seconds left. Unfortunately, UWA couldn't get another clean shot off the rest of the night and used a layup from JJ Kaplan and two free throws from Malik Cook-Stroupe to seal the victory.
Hardy led all scorers with 23 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the floor along with four assists, two rebounds and a block. Dunnaway notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
As a team, UWA finished 37.5 percent (21-of-56) from the floor, 29 percent (9-of-31) from three and 66.7 percent (10-of-15) from the free throw line.
Kaplan posted a double-double for UAH with 19 points and 11 rebounds while Max Shulman posted 12 points (nine of three-pointers to start the second half) and Kerney Lane had 10.
"Thank goodness we play again Saturday. We don't have a lot of time to dwell on the loss," said Sharpe. "But we better get ready for Lee or we may drop another one."
The contest against Lee is set for a 4 p.m. tipoff in Pruitt Hall Gym.