With eight double-doubles recorded going into the Valdosta State game on Feb. 24, Jamar Moore wanted to prove he could do better.
“I kept telling my teammates, ‘I’m going to get it soon; I’m going to get it soon,’ ” Moore said. “And I finally got it.”
It was the first triple-double in seven years for the University of West Florida men’s basketball team.
Moore dominated the Argonaut offensive attack against Valdosta, recording 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 20 points in the University of West Florida’s 89-76 victory at the UWF Field House on senior night.
“The seniors stayed focused,” said UWF coach Bob Stinnett. “I was worried about senior night, but they stayed focused.”
The victory for the Argos (18-10, 8-6 Gulf South Conference) marked the most regular-season wins by a UWF men’s basketball team since 2001 and the most GSC wins since 2004.
UWF came into the game in a three-way tie for third place in the GSC conference. But because West Georgia wins the tiebreaker over UWF, the Argos will go to the GSC tournament as the No. 4 seed.
However, the Blazers didn’t make it easy for UWF.
Valdosta kept it close in the first half, using unstoppable 3-point shooting from Tristan Steele who hit five 3’s in the first half, four more than UWF.
The Argos’ biggest lead was by five points, 19-14, with 11:45 left to play. UWF led 37-35 at halftime.
The Argos shot
51.7 percent as a team in the first half but stepped their game up in the second half, shooting 71 percent.
UWF increased its defensive pressure on Steele, who only hit three 3’s the rest of the way and pulled away in the second half.
Anthony Sims had a double-double of his own, scoring 16 points and recording 11 rebounds.
Marquis Mathis added 22 points in the effort while Martell Buie had 16 point and three steals.
The Argos will enter the tournament as the No. 4 seed and play North Alabama at 5:30 p.m. on March 2 at The Arena in Niceville.
If the Argos win, they will play the winner of No. 1 seed Alabama-Huntsville and No. 8 Delta State in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. on March 3. The Championship game will be at 1:30 p.m. on March 4.
UWF was ranked No. 6 in the NCAA Division II South Region rankings released on Feb. 22.
The Argos still have a strong chance to play in the D-II national tournament starting from March 10-13.
The top eight teams from each region play in the national tournament.
A key test will be against North Alabama, which is ranked No. 9 in the South region.