Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mathis, Moore Lead West Florida to 90-85 Win in Home Opener

PENSACOLA, Fla. – West Florida scored 51 second half points on the way to a 90-85 win over Columbus State in the team’s home opener on Wednesday afternoon at the UWF Field House.  Junior forwards Marquis Mathis (Columbus, Ohio/Cincinnati State CC) and Jamar Moore (Coolidge, Ga./Faulkner State CC) led the way for the Argonauts, as Moore totaled 23 points and Mathis scored 22 off the bench.

Moore added a season high 15 rebounds to his 23 points, giving him a fourth double-double of the season and second in a row.  The junior also finished the night 11-13 from the free throw line, leading the team to a 21-27 performance from the charity stripe.  Mathis’ 22 points were a season high for him, and he also grabbed seven rebounds, including four on the offensive side.

Junior Mike Lewis (Upper Marlboro, Md./Eastern Kentucky) and senior Darryl McGhee (Defuniak Springs, Fla./Gulf Coast CC) also scored in double digits for West Florida.  Lewis scored 16 with five assists, while McGhee finished the game 6-9 from the field with 14 points off the bench.  Junior Anthony Sims (Mobile, Ala./Faulkner State CC) had another fine overall performance, scoring seven points with nine assists and five rebounds.

It was a tight game throughout, as there were 10 lead changes and 14 tied scores.  West Florida (4-5) took the largest lead of the first half early on sophomore Terrance Beasley’s (Pensacola, Fla./Tulane) jumper at the 16:37 mark, putting the Argos ahead 10-4.  Columbus State (2-5) came back to tie the score at 17 on a Darius McKnight layup with 11:07 on the clock.  UWF led for the majority of the second half, but the Cougars came back late and finished the half on a 10-4 run to go into the break leading 41-39.

The teams traded leads through much of the second half, but fouls starting plaguing the Cougars midway through the period.  After CSU went ahead 68-66, the Argos scored six unanswered free throws over the next minute, and they added four more in the minute after that.  Moore created much of the offense for West Florida, drawing fouls and getting to the line for 13 total attempts.

A jumper by Mathis with 2:55 on the clock put the Argos ahead by seven at 84-77, but the Cougars stayed close, narrowing the lead to three on a Donta Ridley jumper with 26 seconds left.  UWF turned the ball over on the next possession, but Lamar Williams missed an open three for the Cougars, missing a chance to tie the score.  Up by three, Moore went to free throw line once again, draining his last two and putting the game out of reach for a final score of 90-85.

UWF finished the game shooting 52.4 percent from the field, continuing the team’s recent hot streak.  The Argos have now shot over 49 percent in each of the last three games.  Columbus State shot well from the field also, finishing at 47.9 percent.  The Argos also won the rebound battle, finishing ahead 38-36.

Williams led the Cougars with a game-high 24 points off the bench, shooting 9-16 from the field and 3-8 from long range.  Paul Darkwa came close to a double-double, scoring 13 points with nine rebounds.  Darkwa also blocked two shots for CSU.

West Florida will head south to Boca Raton, Fla. for the Courtyard by Marriott Holiday Classic hosted by Lynn on Dec. 18-19.  UWF will face Lynn o Friday, Dec. 18 and Barry on Saturday, Dec. 19.  Fans can listen to all the action live at www.GoArgos.com.

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