PENSACOLA, Fla. – After being eliminated from the Gulf South Conference Tournament by Alabama-Huntsville last March, the West Florida men’s basketball team had a lot to look forward to in Saturday’s meeting with the Chargers. Standout performances by Terrence Beasley and Ellis Young III were not enough for the Argos on Saturday, as UWF suffered a three-point loss to the No. 3 ranked Chargers, mirroring last year’s loss in the GSC semifinals.
The win improved UAH’s record to 11-1 overall and 4-0 in GSC play, while the Argos fell to 7-5, 2-2.
In last year’s thriller, it was UAH’s Jaime Smith who banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to send UAH to the GSC championship game. This year the Argonauts had a chance for heroics, but a three by Beasley rimmed out with three seconds left, clinching the 78-75 loss for UWF.
Beasley had a breakout performance, scoring a career-high 34 points while shooting 15-22 from the field. The senior also hit four three-pointers, two more than his previous career-best. Young was key for the Argonauts as well, especially in the second half. The junior totaled 23 points, and 18 came after halftime. Young also grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots. Peter Connole chipped in with a solid performance, scoring five points with eight rebounds and a team-best six assists.
Smith captained the UAH offense, scoring 18 points with eight assists. Zane Campbell also scored 16 and grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.
UAH entered the game eighth in Division II in field goal percentage and sixth in three-point field goal percentage, and they backed it up against the Argos on Saturday. The Chargers finished 31-56 from the field and 10-21 from long range.
The Argonauts did hold an edge, outrebounding the Chargers 33-27. UWF also scored 18 second chance points thanks to 10 offensive boards.
UWF held a six-point lead early in the first half, but UAH quickly erased the advantage with three straight three-pointers. The Chargers were up by three at halftime, 34-31, and the score stayed tight in the second half with seven tied scores and six lead changes.
The Argos will hit the road next week, traveling to face West Alabama on Thursday, Jan. 10 and West Georgia on Saturday, Jan. 12.
From Staff Reports