Men’s team falls to UAH at home

Junior guard Jeff Hodge Jr. goes up for a layup in North Alabama’s game against Alabama-Huntsville. The Lions let a 50-50 first half tie slip away in the second where they fell 91-79 at Flowers Hall.

After heading into the locker room at halftime tied 50-50, the North Alabama men’s basketball team would succumb to Alabama-Huntsville’s second half surge to fall 91-79 Dec. 4 in Flowers Hall.

This game was the Gulf South Conference opener for both teams, and head coach Bobby Champagne said this was not how he envisioned opening conference play, especially against a rival.

“A lot of our guys have only seen (UAH) twice,” he said. “If you haven’t played against them, you don’t really understand it. Maybe some of our newer guys getting that first taste will help us down the road.”

The Lions and Chargers played a back and forth first half that ended tied at 50. After the Lions jumped out to a small lead early in the second, the Chargers reclaimed the lead and ultimately outscored UNA 41-29 in the second half.

Offensively, the Lions shot 45.9 percent from the field, but only managed to shoot 24 percent on three-point field goals, including going 0-12 in the second half. UAH started the 7-9 behind the arch and finished 12-25.

The Lions had four players reach double-digits in scoring. Junior forward Sharwyn McGee led the team with 16 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Jeff Hodge Jr. followed with 15, then sophomore forward Myrek Lee-Fowlkes added 14. Senior guard Dimario Jackson finished out with 10 points of his own, along with five assists.

Hodge said the loss was difficult to stomach in front of the home crowd.

“It’s tough,” he said. “We’ve got to learn from it. Down the stretch, we didn’t play as hard as we did in the first half and beginning of the second half. When they started hitting shots and calls started going their way, it seemed like we kind of shut down and we didn’t pick it back up.”

UNA will look to pick back up on their winning ways Dec. 10 when they host Huntingdon at home.