Men’s team comeback bid thwarted

North Alabama forward Austin Timms goes for a layup against Delta State Jan. 28 in Florence. The Lions trailed by as many as 28, but let DSU escape with a 84-79 victory.

The four-game win streak for the North Alabama men’s basketball team came to an end Jan. 28, as the Lions fell to Delta State 84-79 at Flowers Hall.

The Lions (11-8, 6-7 Gulf South Conference) trailed 38-28 at the half, but resilient shooting within the final five minutes cut the Statesmen lead to five.

“We were down 28, and the guys kept fighting,” said UNA head coach Bobby Champagne. “We didn’t make many shots in the first half, and Delta was pretty good. We got down, but we didn’t quit.”

The win over the Lions places the Statesmen (13-6, 8-5 GSC) in fourth place in the GSC standings, while UNA remains middle-of-the-pack — currently sixth in the standings.

Senior guard DeAndre McKinnie led in scoring coming off the bench with a career-high 18 points and 5-11 on three-point field goals.

“That first half killed us,” McKinnie said. “If we would’ve played like we did in the second half the whole game, we would’ve came out with a ‘W’.”

The Lions had four other players in double-digit scoring. Sophomore guard Tavaras Tolliver and senior forward Austin Timms tied for second most with 14. Guards Jeff Hodge and Dimario Jackson followed up with 10 each.

Timms also led in rebounds with 11 and Hodge led in assists with 9, which was his career-high.

With nine games remaining in the regular season, UNA travels to Alabama-Huntsville Jan. 30 then will head to Lee Feb. 2 for two pivotal conference matchups.