UNA lets win slip away

After a 45-32 lead at the half on senior night to the No.13 Christian Brothers, UNA (14-10, 6-6) hit a cold spell and got torched on the boards to fall 87-74 Thursday night.

Christian Brothers (19-4, 10-2) out rebounded the Lions 29-14 in the second half that sparked the comeback victory. The Lions couldn’t match the same energy that put them up 13 at the half after shooting 60 percent and draining 10 three-point baskets. For the game, the Lions fell to 43 percent from the field in front of a packed Flowers Hall

“We outplayed them in the first half, and they just outplayed us in the second half,” said UNA coach Bobby Champagne. “If we could have gone home after halftime, it would have been great. They had a lot of fun the first half with nine three-pointers, but the difference in the game was that we were holding them to one shot on rebounding in the first half. They just set the tone with four offensive rebounds to start the second half.”

The Buccaneers clawed back to take the lead for the first time 62-60 with 7:12 remaining. The Lions hit a cold streak of seven minutes and never could slow down the high-scoring attack from the Christian Brothers. Scott Dennis took control for the Buccaneers, scoring 31 points and 14-14 from the free-throw line.

After gaining the lead, UNA could never recover from the offensive rebound or stop the hot shooting, falling 87-74.

“I can’t explain it,” said UNA guard Beaumont Beasley. “They started making shots, and we didn’t play hard enough in the second half. We didn’t execute well enough, and we just can’t let them take that (energy) away from us.”

With the loss, UNA falls to 6-6 in the GSC and will wait to see how it affects the region standings. Before the game, UNA was ranked 8th in the region poll before falling to the No. 1 team in the poll. The final eight schools ranked in the poll will move on to the NCAA Tournament, and the Lions will find themselves in a must-win game at Delta State Saturday.