UNA MBB defeats Huntingdon at home

Junior guard Jeff Hodge Jr. (left) and senior guard DeAndre McKinnie celebrate before North Alabama’s home game against Alabama-Huntsville Dec. 4. The Lions rebounded after the loss to the Chargers to come away with a dominant victory versus Huntingdon Dec. 10 at Flowers Hall.

After a home loss to rival Alabama-Huntsville, the North Alabama men’s basketball team bounced back for a win against Huntingdon Dec. 10 at Flowers Hall.

The Lions (5-2, 0-1 Gulf South Conference) outshot the Hawks in every category in the 87-61 non-conference victory.

“We had to sit around about a week for this game (after the UAH loss), which is never fun,” said head coach Bobby Champagne. “We had a couple of tough days of practice, and we had a couple of good days of practice this week. Hopefully we can repeat the process headed into the West Alabama game.”

The two teams exchanged points in the paint throughout the first five minutes, but the Lions’ defense stepped up as UNA outscored Huntingdon 48-27 in the first half.

After attaining a 26-point lead in the second half, the Lions bench began rotating in as they cemented the victory.

Champagne said after the bench players had to contribute more after the UAH loss, and they did just that. Junior forward Johnell Ginnie led the Lions in scoring with 16 of 41 points coming off the bench.

“Coach Champagne has been on me a lot to bring a spark to the team coming off the bench,” Ginnie said. “When we have guys that other teams scout a lot like Dimario Jackson and Austin Timms, we need guys that can come off the bench and bring some energy to the game.”

UNA faces another GSC rival later this week when West Alabama comes to Florence Dec. 15. The UWA game is the first of 21 straight conference games for the Lions.