Argos' Comeback Bid Falls Short in 60-57 Loss in GSC Quarterfinals
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NICEVILLE, Fla. – The West Florida women’s basketball team came back from a 15-point second half deficit to take a late lead, but the Argonauts fell short to West Alabama in a 60-57 loss in the Gulf South Conference Tournament Quarterfinals on Thursday night. With the loss, the Argos had their season come to an end with a 10-17 record, while West Alabama (12-14) advances to play Delta State in the semifinals on Saturday.
Senior forward Octavia Bearden (Tylertown, Miss./Southwest Mississippi CC) had one of her best games as an Argonaut, scoring 22 points with 16 rebounds, marking her ninth double-double this year and her 14th in two seasons. Junior Hanna Vette (Tarkio, Mo./Mineral Area CC) added 17 points, and she shot 3-4 from three-point range.
West Alabama had a strong first half, outrebounding the Argonauts 25-14 on their way to a 33-25 halftime lead. The Tigers led by as many as 12 points in the first half, and they opened up a 15-point lead at the 15:22 mark in the second half. UWF responded with a 13-2 run, taking a 48-47 lead at the 8:15 mark on a three-pointer by Vette.
The Argos’ momentum would fade, however, as UWA responded with their own 9-3 run to go ahead by seven at the 2:35 mark. Head coach Shannan Bergen’s squad kept fighting, and a free throw by senior Keaundrea Merriewether (Jacksonville, Fla./University Christian HS) pulled the Argos within three points with seven seconds left.
The Argos fouled on the next possession, putting Nikkia Jordan at the line for one-and-one. Jordan missed the first, and senior Erica Wright (Pace, Fla./Spring Hill) rushed a last second three-pointer for UWF. Wright was denied, sending West Alabama home with the three-point win.
Jordan was UWA’s leading scorer with 16 points, while Brittany Weathers put in 10 off the bench. The Tigers finished with a 45-38 advantage in rebounds, including 17 offensive boards.
Thursday’s game was the last in the careers of five Argonaut seniors: Bearden, Desiree Dotey (Hammond, La./Southwest Mississippi CC), Merriewether, Sher’Ryan Scott (Fort Deposit, Ala./Wallace State CC-Selma) and Wright. The Argos finished the year 10-17 overall and 6-8 in conference play, matching the most conference wins for the program since 2006-07.