Sunday, December 12, 2010

Argos Fall Short, 75-53, in Upset Bid of No. 1 Delta State

CLEVELAND, Miss. – The University of West Florida women’s basketball team built a nine-point first half lead but fell short in the end, 75-53, to No. 1 Delta State University on Sunday afternoon. The loss drops UWF to 5-4 on the season.

Sher’Ryan Scott scored 14 points to pace West Florida, while Octavia Bearden scored 11. UWF shot 35.7% in the game and got out-rebounded for the first time this season, 46-29.

The Argonauts took their largest lead of the game with 11:27 left in the opening half, when Desiree Dotey connected on a three-pointer to make the score 17-8. Later, a jumper from Scott pushed the lead to 28-21 at the 6:52 mark.

But Delta State (7-0) took the game by the horns with a 15-0 run late in the opening period. Bug Cooper scored a deuce and assisted on three other baskets during the breakout, which gave the Lady Statesmen a 36-28 bulge. UWF was 0-for-5 from the floor during the run and turned the ball over twice.

Leading 38-31 at the halftime break, Delta State looked to have put the game on ice with a 10-0 streak early in the 2nd half. Cooper was the central figure again, scoring one bucket and dishing three more helpers en route to a 52-35 lead with 13:53 left.

But West Florida hung tough and rallied to make things interesting down the stretch. Bearden put the Argonauts on her back and led the squad on an 11-2 run. The junior scored eight of the team’s 11 points during the run, and her lay-up at the 9:26 mark cut the gap to 54-46.

But in this game of runs, it was the nation’s top-ranked team who would prove to be superior. DSU’s Veronica Walker responded to the UWF spurt by scoring the next six points of the game, keying an 8-0 Lady Statesmen breakout that pushed the lead back to 62-46.

After Chelsea Turgeon knocked down a three to stop the Delta State rally momentarily, the home team went on to score nine more consecutive points, taking a 71-49 advantage on Aubree Ray’s bucket at the 4:41 mark. Delta State’s lead would never again fall under the 20-point mark.

Shameka Russell scored 13 points to lead Delta State. Cooper added ten points and 12 assists. The Lady Statesmen were efficient offensively, shooting 50.0% from the floor and hitting 4-of-8 three-pointers.

UWF will take the court again on Saturday, December 18 as part of the Florida Tech Christmas Tournament. The Argonauts will face Saint Michael’s College in the opening round at 4 pm ET.

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