UNA men’s basketball team dominates conference leader

From opening tip the Lions had no trouble with conference leading Shorter University as UNA won 89-65 Feb. 5 in Flowers Hall.

UNA fed senior forward Calvin Dade the ball in the post in the first half to build a big lead and never looked back. Dade finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds, and posted a double-double in the first half alone.

“Rebounding and making easy shots were the key for us,” Dade said. “We did a good job of boxing out and hustling tonight.”

The Lions pulled down 48 rebounds and is the conference leading rebounding team, averaging over 41 a game.

The Lions led by as many as 32 with 7:51 left and never trailed. The win marks the fourth victory in the last five games for UNA.

“I’ve known we can play with anybody it’s just been a matter of time,” Dade said. “We’ve been beating ourselves. We should be right at the top of the conference.”

Senior guard Nathan Spehr scored 22 points and added five assists. Spehr suffered a broken nose in practice Monday and has to wear a protective mask for the rest of the season.

“We’ve been playing good basketball since the second half the Delta State game (Jan. 1),” said head coach Bobby Champagne. “We executed on both sides of the ball. I’m actually surprised we held them to 65.”

Champagne said the smart play by his team contributed to the massive win for the Lions.

“Because we took good shots and didn’t turn the ball over we slowed down their transition (offense),” he said.

The Lions host Lee University (11-10, 6-10) Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. The Lions lost to the Flames 87-82 in overtime Dec. 18.

“We let one slip away at Lee and that’s what happens in this league, you can’t look past anybody,” Champagne said. “It would be nice to get another home win for momentum.”

After Saturday the next for games for the Lions are on the road.