Lions squander lead in loss to Argos

Senior guard DeAndre McKinnie pulls up for a shot against West Florida Feb. 16 in Flowers Hall. McKinnie had 16 points, but it was not enough as the Lions fall to the Argos, 86-77.

The North Alabama men’s basketball team went into the second half leading by 12 points, but a second half collapse resulted in an 86-77 loss to West Florida Thursday night in Flowers Hall.

West Florida scored 52 second half points and shot 65.4 percent from the floor in the second half to down the Lions, who fall to 13-12 overall and 8-11 in Gulf South Conference play. UNA remains in a tie for seventh place in the GSC standings with Union, while West Florida remains in the top four.

UNA head coach Bobby Champagne said the team didn’t execute the way he wanted to see in the second half.

“We talk about playing at a high level daily,” Champagne said. “We didn’t play at a high level in the second half.”

Junior Johnell Ginnie, who had a team-high 20 points, said the team not matching its first half success cost the team a crucial home victory.

“We didn’t come out with same intensity in the second half,” Ginnie said. “We were lock down on defense and doing the little things, but in the second half we didn’t do the same thing.”

The Lions started the game hot as Ginnie was 4-6 with 14 points, and junior Guard DeAndre McKinnie was a perfect 4-4 from the floor, including 2 makes from three-point range. He finished with 16 points.

After shooting over 50 percent from the floor in the first half, the Lions went cold. They shot 32 percent from the field and went 0 for 8 from three-point range.

While shooting 65.4 percent from the field, the Argos also drained six three-pointers in the second half to spark the comeback.

The Lions will play the GSC leading Valdosta State Blazers (21-4, 16-3 GSC) Feb. 18 in Flowers Hall. The Blazers come into Florence off an 84-81 overtime win against UAH.

Saturday will also mark UNA’s senior night, as it will be the final game in Flowers Hall.