UNA’s men basketball puts away Delta St.

The Lions made 12 three-point baskets at home to put away conference rival Delta St. 68-52 to move back to .500 and keep pace in the GSC.

     The Lions’ three-point game finally came back into play for UNA, along with a fierce defense forcing 19 turnovers. Warrick Mastin led all scorers for the Lions with 17 points and 5-7 from three-point territory to spark a struggling Lion offense for a much needed home victory before next Saturday’s showdown against UAH.

     “We had a nice talk yesterday and simply put it in black and white with the stat sheet,” said men’s basketball coach Bobby Champagne. “We are shooting 6-26 from the three-point line, and we either got to get better at it with working hard in practice or quit shooting those shots. I think the guys really understood where I was coming from, and I thought we did a good job putting the Christian Brothers game behind us.”

     UNA started the game off hot and fed off the crowd of Flowers Hall, as Mastin drained two three-point baskets to lead 13-7 with 14:11 remaining in the half. Despite the hot start of shooting from behind the arc, the Lions hit a cold spell for the next 11 minutes. The Lion defense took over, not allowing the Statesman to gain control of the cold spell. UNA’s defense and six three-pointers gave the Lions the lead 28-21 going in the half.

     The three-point streak continued in the second half, as Mastin, Wes Long and Nathan Spehr knocked down two each to push the lead 56-34 with 7:32 left in the game.  Delta St. never was able to defend the arc, as the Lions remained in control for the 68-52 victory. Theron Jenkins also came up big for the Lions with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

     “It feels really good, and we were all clicking today,” Mastin said. “I think that we showed our fans if we are all on the same page we can be a fun team to watch. It feels good for our team to get the three-point touch back.”

    With the win, the Lions remain in hunt for the GSC tournament berth with West Alabama, West Georgia and West Florida. The four teams are separated with a one-game difference for third place behind top teams UAH and Christian Brothers.

     “That was a big win for us because—the way this conference is set up—this win puts us in the middle part of the standing,” Mastin said. “This win helps us out and also sets us up good with all the home games coming up.”

     UNA has four more games on this home stand with a non-conference game against Concordia Tuesday night at 8 p.m. The Lions then will jump back into GSC play Saturday against rival UAH at 3 p.m.