CARROLLTON, Ga. — Everything seemed to work Saturday for North Alabama at the GSC-SICA Challenge.
The Lions combined great shooting with solid defense as they routed Miles 100-47.
Every player scored for UNA (3-0), including five in double figures as the Lions remained undefeated.
“We played really well defensively in the first half,” coach Bobby Champagne said. “K.J. (Keynan Jackson) did a great job defensively and that kept Miles from getting in their offense. We were able to hold them to one shot and then some easy shots in transition.”
The Lions shot 50.6 percent for the day, while holding Miles to 29.3 percent. UNA also held a 57-33 rebounding advantage over the Tigers.
Miles led 9-6 in the early going before UNA took over. Lonnie Smith capped a 15-0 run with a 3-pointer that put the Lions up 21-9. UNA continued to pull away and led 44-21 at halftime.
Rashaun Claiborne led the way with 16 points. Bruce Adams added 12 points and eight rebounds while Marquel Darrington had 11 points. DeAndre Hersey and Corey Ricks also tossed in 10 points each.
“We came out with good energy today and did what we were supposed to do,” Champagne said. “The guys did a good job attacking the basket and getting good shots.
“It feels good to be 3-0. We’ve made the improvement we were looking for since our first game. The guys are starting to develop some chemistry and figure out their roles. This trip was really good for us.”
UNA will play at Georgia Southwestern next Saturday.
Women lose in OT
Some crucial mistakes down the stretch cost the North Alabama women as Montevallo escaped with a 72-69 overtime victory over the Lions at Flowers Hall.
“This was a prime opportunity for us to get a win at home and grow as a team,” coach Terry Fowler said. “We had it right there is our hand and just couldn’t close the fist. We have to learn to finish.”
UNA (3-2) used a 12-0 run midway through the second half to go up by 10. Mekena Randle had six points in the spurt and put the Lions up 52-42 with 8:43 to play.
Montevallo then began to chip away at the lead. After the Falcons tied it at 61, Randle made two free throws with 2:18 left to put the Lions ahead 63-61.
But the Lions later turned the ball over and then failed to get a rebound on two missed free throws by the Falcons, allowing Montevallo to tie it at 63 with 13 seconds remaining. Freshman guard Jennifer Towne missed a shot in the lane in the closing seconds and the two teams headed to overtime.
Montevallo made a steal and layup to break a 67-67 deadlock and then added two free throws by Shay Bonner. UNA pulled within two on a basket by Randle, but turned the ball over on its next possession. The Falcons added a free throw with 14.4 seconds left to make it 72-69. Abby Andrews’ 3-point attempt at the buzzer missed everything, giving Montevallo the win.
UNA shot just 29.2 percent from the field for the game.
“We got the shots we wanted; We just didn’t make them,” Fowler said. “Even at the end of regulation and overtime we got what we wanted and just didn’t come close to making the shots.”
Randle and Towne finished with 20 points each and Kaseama Ashbourne added 11 off the bench for UNA. Beverly Taylor led Montevallo with 22 points.
UNA will host Stillman on Monday at 6 p.m.