PENSACOLA, Fla. – Marquis Mathis scored a career-high 26 points and Mike Whisman added a career-best 20 of his own, leading the University of West Florida to a 77-61 victory over the University of West Georgia Thursday night at the UWF Field House. UWF (8-12, 1-5 Gulf South Conference) never trailed and picked up their first GSC win of the 2010-11 season.
Mathis was 13-of-20 from the floor and scooped up seven rebounds, while Whisman was 10-of-12 and collected ten boards. Anthony Sims also scored in double figures, with ten points, as UWF shot a season-high 55.4% from the floor.
West Georgia (10-8, 2-3 GSC) was led by the combo of Deion Sims and Da’Ron Sims, who scored 17 and 15 points, respectively. Gavin Field added 12 for the Wolves, who were just 3-of-21 from three-point range.
Two early baskets by Mathis put UWF ahead, 6-2, forcing a West Georgia timeout at the 17:15 mark of the first half. But the stoppage of play did not cool off the Argos, as Whisman capped a 6-3 spurt with a lay-up of his own to make the score 21-11 with 13:25 left in the first half.
The Argonauts gained their biggest margin of the first half with the 4:46 mark, when Mathis scored on an assist by Jamar Moore. But the Wolves scored the final four points of the half to cut the gap to 30-24 at the halftime break.
UWF ran a set play to Whisman on their first possession of the second half, and the big man scored an easy two to win momentum back for the home team. UWF used that momentum to mount a 7-0 run, highlighted by another Mathis hoop to make the score 46-33 with 15:16 to play.
West Georgia cut the lead to as little as five points when Da’Ron Sims canned a jumper at the 10:51 mark to make the score 54-49. The Argos quickly regained control however, as Whisman and Mathis scored back-to-back deuces to bump the advantage to 66-54 with just 5:49 to play.
Mathis provided the exclamation point with 2:26 left, as he took an alley-oop pass from Mike Lewis and jammed it home with authority, getting the crowd on their feet and pushing the lead to an insurmountable 15 points.
The Argonauts dominated the glass, collecting 46 rebounds to West Georgia’s 28. Moore and Whisman had ten each to lead all players. Moore also led all players with seven assists.
With the victory, UWF has won two straight games over West Georgia.
UWF looks to win their second straight GSC game when they hit the road to face No. 5 Alabama-Huntsville on Saturday night. Tip time is slated for 7 pm.