Sunday, December 12, 2010

West Florida Finishes Road Trip With 91-82 Win at Delta State

CLEVELAND, Miss. – After a 12-day break, the West Florida men’s basketball team showed little rust in a 91-82 win on the road at Delta State on Sunday.  The win closed out the team’s eight-game road trip to open the season, and the Argonauts will head back to Pensacola for the team’s home opener against Columbus State on Wednesday.

Juniors Mike Lewis (Upper Marlboro, Md./Eastern Kentucky) and Jamar Moore (Coolidge, Ga./Faulkner State CC) once again led the way for West Florida (3-5), with Lewis playing the role as sharpshooter and Moore the playmaker and all-around leader.  Lewis scored a career high 27 points, including 21 in the first half.  Moore had his best overall game of the year, matching his career high with 24 points while also adding 10 rebounds and seven assists.  It was Moore’s third double-double of the season.

The Argos also had big contributions from a pair of bench players, as junior Marquis Mathis (Columbus, Ohio/Cincinnati State CC) and senior Darryl McGhee (Defuniak Springs, Fla./Gulf Coast CC) each scored in double digits.  Mathis scored a career high 14 points, and McGhee was close behind with 12.  Junior Anthony Sims (Mobile, Ala./Faulkner State CC) also added five assists and three steals.

Delta State (4-5) got out to a hot start, scoring 13 points in the first two minutes and 20 in the first five.  The Statesmen jumped out to a 20-7 lead at the 15:16 mark, highlighted by a Ken Mitchell slam dunk to give the home team a 13-point lead.  McGhee scored a basket for UWF the next time down the court, and he then blocked a shot on DSU’s next possession.  The Argos then cut the DSU lead to six, as Moore drained a three at the 14:14 mark to make the score 20-14.

The Statesmen held the lead for much of the first half, but the Argos kept chipping away.  A fast break layup by Moore put the Argos within two points at the 4:51 mark, and UWF finally tied the score on Lewis’ fifth three-pointer of the half to make the score 41-41 with 1:51 on the clock.  Four more West Florida points in the last minute of play gave the visitors a 45-41 lead going into halftime.

Delta State’s Arian Maliqi scored the first bucket of the second half, cutting UWF’s lead to two points at 45-43, but that would be the closest DSU would get the rest of the way.  The Argos kept up their intensity and kept hitting their shots, and a dunk by McGhee with 9:28 on the clock put UWF up by 10 points for the first time in the game.  The Statesmen came as close as six points on a pair of free throws by Maliqi with 2:01 left, but UWF held its composure and clinched the nine-point win.

UWF shot a season-best 53.2 percent from the field, led by Lewis who finished 9-14 and 5-7 from long range.  The Argonauts defense held Delta State to just 35.2 percent shooting from the field.  West Florida also led in rebounds at 49-42.

Maliqi led the Statesmen with 19 points, and three others scored in double digits for DSU.  Jamarkus Holt scored 12 points and led the team with nine rebounds.  Jay Murphy dished out a team-best seven assists.

The Argos will head back to Pensacola for the team’s home opener on Wednesday, Dec. 15 against Columbus State.  UWF faced Columbus State on the road earlier this season, defeating the Cougars 72-58.  Tip-off for Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m., and fans can watch all the action live at

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