FLORENCE, Ala. – The West Florida women’s basketball team battled hard against North Alabama in the team’s final Gulf South Conference game of the season on Thursday, but the Argonauts fell just short in overtime, losing 73-70. The Argos had chances to win the game on the final shot in regulation and tie the game on the final shot in overtime, but both chances bounced out. The Argonauts fell to 13-12 overall and 4-6 in GSC play, but they still have a chance to earn a GSC Tournament berth based on the results of the rest of the conference.
Senior Tiffany Williams (St. Petersburg, Fla./North Florida) was the Argonauts’ leading scorer with 15, and senior Jessie Ivey (Jay, Fla./Jay HS) added 12 points. Junior Kirstin McIntyre (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./Florida Southern) was one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, and senior Dominique Boykins (Houston, Texas/North Shore HS) added 11 points off the bench on 4-5 shooting from the field.
Amy Drake (Niceville, Fla./Winthrop) hit a jumper to start things off in the first half, but with the Argonauts ahead 2-0 both teams went cold, as the score would remain the same until a free throw by Kirstin McIntyre with 15:26 on the clock. UNA continued to struggle offensively, as UWF jumped out to a 19-6 lead with 9:07 to go. That was a turning point for the Lions, however, as UNA battled back and took a 22-21 lead after a 16-2 run over a four-minute span. The Argos responded with a run of their own, outscoring the Lions 10-4 over the final five minutes to go into halftime leading 31-26.
The second half was back-and-forth, as UWF first went ahead by eight, only to have UNA come back and go up by five with 7:17 left. The Lions were ahead heading into the final minutes, but a basket by Ivey followed by a fast break layup by Drake narrowed the margin to one point at 62-61. Boykins converted on a big three-point play to put the Argos ahead by two at 64-62, but a pair of free throws by Lacy Lewis tied the score at 64 with 31 seconds left. Williams attempted a shot as time expired, but it bounced out, denying the Argos the victory and sending the game into overtime.
The game stayed close in overtime, with neither team going ahead by more than four points. UNA did take a four-point lead with 31 seconds left, but an Amy Drake three-point play narrowed the lead to one. UWF was forced to foul and Niala Harris converted on a pair of free throws on the other side, putting the Lions ahead by three. On the next possession, Williams found Drake on the right side, and Drake took a leaning three-pointer with five seconds left, but it bounced off the front of the rim, clinching the UNA victory.
North Alabama (15-12, 7-2 GSC) was led by Niala Harris with 20 points off the bench, and Sanqueeta Meardith also added 15 points off the bench. Lacy Lewis also added 15 for the Lions.
UWF will close out the regular season with two more games, first a road game at Lambuth on Saturday, February 20 and then the home finale against Concordia-Selma on Tuesday, February 23. For information on all UWF Athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.