LIVINGSTON, Ala. – The University of West Florida men’s basketball team committed 23 turnovers and conceded nine three-point field goals in a 65-54 loss to the University of West Alabama on Thursday night at UWA’s Pruitt Hall. The loss drops UWF to 7-10, 0-3 in Gulf South Conference action.
UWF has now lost four games in a row. The Argonauts were led by Marquis Mathis, who scored 14 points off the bench. UWF’s turnover issue undid their fine shooting night; the Argos connected on 47.9% of their field goal attempts.
UWF’s top two scorers on the season, Mike Lewis and Jamar Moore, once again had uneven performances. Lewis scored 13 points but did not play the final 17:32 of the game, while Moore had just two points and did not play the in 2nd half.
The Tigers (6-9, 1-1 GSC) were led by Alquan Mendenhall and Richard Dixon, each of whom scored 19 points. Mendenhall was hot from outside, hitting 5-of-7 three-point field goals.
UWA took control of the game right from the outset, taking an 18-8 lead on Ryan Fitch’s jumper with 14:15 left in the 1st half. Later in the half, Mendenhall scored on three straight possessions to push the lead to 29-15 with 6:33 on the clock.
A Mendenhall three-ball gave UWA their first 20-point bulge of the contest, at 37-17, with 5:00 left in the opening period, and a Dixon swish on the half’s final possession made the score 47-29 at the intermission.
After UWF sliced into the lead with jumpers by Lewis and Jamel Brazeal to start the half, UWA launched an 8-0 breakout to gain their largest advantage of the night. A three-pointer by Dixon capped the run at 55-33 with 14:36 remaining.
A largely reserve line-up held West Alabama scoreless for the next 9:50 of the game, briefly giving UWF a shot at a comeback. The Argonauts scored 14 straight points over the prolonged run, including a short jumper from Darryl McGhee to cut the gap to 55-47 with 6:51 to play.
Unfortunately for the Argonauts, they would never get closer. UWF scored just seven more points and could not overcome UWA’s methodical pace.
McGhee finished with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds for UWF. Sophomore Peter Connole came off the bench to collect a team-high four steals.
West Florida will aim for their first GSC win of the season when they take the court next, on Thursday, January 27 against Valdosta State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 pm CT.