Dec. 29, 2006
PENSACOLA, Fla. - Getting off to a poor first half start continues to be an issue for West Florida (7-6). The Argos returned to the court following an 11-day lay-off, eager to erase the memories of their 14-point loss at home to Loyola-New Orleans on Dec. 16. Unfortunately, UWF learned that they would be without the services of standout senior point guard Heather George for the rest of the season, who is no longer attending the university.
The combination of adjusting to life without George and rust from the lay-off proved to be a contributing factor to the Argos early first half problems. Southern Arkansas (2-8) jumped out to 14-0 point lead. Despite a major push by UWF late in both the first and second halves, the Argos could not overcome the deficit.
West Florida came out of a timeout with 15 second left to play in the game, and Laura Davis misfired on a three-point attempt with eight seconds left on the clock that would have tied the game. Southern Arkansas' Kim Davis pulled down the decisive rebound and was fouled with four seconds remaining. Leading by three, SAU's Davis missed the front end of a one-and-one but UWF could not get off another shot before time expired.
A three-pointer by UWF's Davis to start the second half cut the SAU lead to 29-25. West Florida would score just two points over the next 5:34, and SAU increased their lead to 38-27. The Argos went on a 7-0 run behind a three-pointer by Elisa Hardy and two lay-ups by Samantha Schlaegel. The closest UWF would get to catching the Lady Riders would be at 42-41 with 7:20 left to play following a Tiffany Scott lay-up. Southern Arkansas pushed their lead back to eight at 54-46 with 2:14 left on the clock. The Argos grabbed two offensive boards off a pair of missed three's and Tara Russ was fouled. Russ drained a both cutting SAU's lead to six. Russ found Karmeshia Easley on a back door cut to the basket to cut the lead to four at the 1:14 mark. SAU's Davis quickly answered with a lay-up. Easley was fouled following another back door lay-up made. The play was assisted by Schlaegel, and Easley connected on the free throw to make it a 56-53 game. Those were the final points of the game.
West Florida went the first 4:11 of the game without scoring, and SAU built a 14-point margin. SAU's Davis had eight points in the game's first 1:51. Following a UWF timeout, the Argos went on a 13-4 run. UWF went the final 5:52 without a point and trailed 29-22 at halftime.
SAU's Davis led all scorers with 22 points and 11 boards in just her second game with the Lady Riders. She was 9-for-13 from the field. Kayla Jones added 12 points and eight boards. Goldie White contributed with 15 points, five rebounds and four steals. West Florida was led by Davis who tallied 11 points. Schlaegel scored nine points with nine boards. Easley added nine points. Russ had seven points, six boards and four assists.
West Florida plays Harding tomorrow at 3:00 pm. Listen live on AM 1620 or sportsjuice.com starting at 2:45 pm.