GSC Tournament Run Ends for West Florida
Argos Lose Semifinal Match, 87-84, on a No. 3 Alabama-Huntsville Buzzer Beater Three
Related Item: Box Score
NICEVILLE, Fla. – After winning its first Gulf South Conference Tournament game in 11 years, the University of West Florida men’s basketball team turned its sights to the top seeded No. 3 Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in the semifinal matchup.
With the game tight and a possible upset on the line, Alabama-Huntsville senior Jaime Smith banked in his seventh three of the game with just :02 left on the clock, handing the Argos an 87-84 loss.
West Florida, now 19-11 overall, will now wait for its name to be called on Sunday night by the NCAA selection committee for an at large bid to its first ever national tournament.
“What a game,” said West Florida head coach Bob Stinnett. “We were on him (Smith) all game and he just kept nailing the threes. Hats off to them, they’re a great ball club and so well coached. I know I’m a stubborn guy for saying this but I hope we meet them in the regional.”
The loss was the third this season for UWF to Huntsville with the last two games coming down to the final seconds.
The Arogs held their own in the first half, holding a five point lead over the Chargers midway through. But UAH battled back, grabbing the lead and sending the game into the half on three Smith free throws, 50-41.
West Florida then went down by as many as 11 in the second period before going on an 8-0 run in a three minute-span, putting the game at 65-63 Huntsville. The Chargers managed to get their lead back up to eight at the 5:43 mark, but the Argos fought back, getting within three after a Jamar Moore (Coolidge, Ga./Faulkner State CC) jumper made it 84-81 with 2:03 to play.
Marquis Mathis (Columbus, Ohio/Cincinnati State CC) then tied the game at 84 as just his fourth three point-attempt of the season fell with just 1:27 to go.
After two missed field goals by both teams to win it, Smith had the ball with just two ticks on the clock, sinking the game winner for the Chargers. Mike Whisman (Kissimmee, Fla/Celebration HS) caught a cross court pass from Martell Buie (Orlando, Fla./Wallace St. CC-Hanceville), tossed it over to Moore who took the 40 foot attempt to tie it up that fell short, ending the game.
“I told coach I wanted the ball when we were in the timeout,” said Moore. “We fought hard and we fell hard but we did it as a team and I’m proud of these guys.”
Moore was the leading scorer for the Argos, tying his career high with 29 points to go along with his 11 rebounds, completing his 11th double-double of the year and third straight. Buie was also in double-digits with 16 as was Whisman with 12.
The Argos added 27 points from the free throw-line where they were 27-of-30 for the game, Moore led there as well, going 13-of-14.
Smith for the Chargers scored a game high 33, the most UWF has allowed to a single player all season, connecting on seven of his nine three point-attempts. Point guard Josh Magette also finished with a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
The Argos again outrebounded their opponent, pulling down 38 to the Charger’s 21.
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will be announced Sunday at 9:30 p.m. and can be seen live here. For the latest information on West Florida men’s basketball and on all UWF Athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.