Men’s basketball falls in first game of GSC Tourney

Senior guard Ricky Davison and junior center Marcus Landry hustle up the court in a game played at Flowers Hall earlier this year. Davison and fellow senior Trent McCants played their final game for UNA.

Offensive struggles plagued the UNA men’s basketball team last Friday afternoon, March 4, resulting in a loss to Arkansas Tech 84-61 in the Gulf South Conference Tournament.

The Lions have been one of the top teams in scoring all season, but the Wonder Boys held the Lions to just 44 percent shooting and scoring just 61 points, well below their season average.

Junior guard Beaumont Beasley led the team in scoring with 18 points and Marcus Landry recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well and we also turned the ball over a lot,” said head coach Bobby Champagne. “I think a lot of that had to do with how good Arkansas Tech was on defense.”

The Lions had the lead early in the first half, jumping out to a 11-8 lead, but the Wonder Boys forced a couple of turnovers to go on a 15-4 run and regained the lead 29-17 with 8:29 remaining in the half. UNA turned the ball over 13 times in the first half, putting the Lions in a hole at the half with a score of 49-31.

“It’s frustrating not to be able to put the ball in the hole in a big game,” said Beasley. “Arkansas Tech forced us into a lot of turnovers, which affected us offensively.”

The Lions continued to struggle on offense in the second half as the Wonder Boys maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second half.

The Lions had a couple of runs in the second half, but the closest UNA could get was 12 and got down by as many 23 points. The Wonder Boys put the Lions away for good with a score of 84-61, ending the Lions’ season.

First team All-GSC senior guard Ricky Davison had a very frustrating night, scoring only five points for the Lions, and senior guard Trent McCants also went scoreless for their final game in a Lions uniform.

“It’s always tough to see your teammates play their last college game,” said Beasley. “They are great players and we wished we could have ended their careers on a much better note.”

The Lions finished the season with a 13-16 record, but only losing three seniors and how they finished the season showed signs of how good the Lions could be next season with most of the key players coming back.

“We feel good about the guys coming back,” said Champagne. “We just got a couple of pieces to fix and hit the recruiting trail in the offseason.”