FLORENCE — North Alabama coach Bobby Champagne hopes fatigue will not be a problem for his team tonight as the Lions open their regular season against Fisk.
Tipoff is at 8 p.m. at Flowers Hall. The women’s game begins at 6 p.m.
The Lions spent much of Sunday flying back from California, where they lost 75-65 to Long Beach State in an exhibition game.
“Hopefully the travel won’t take too much out of us,” Champagne said. “Playing out there was a good experience for our guys, but it will be good to play in front of our home crowd.”
Junior college transfer Rashaun Claiborne led the Lions with 17 points Saturday and junior Wes Long added 13 points.
The Lions return only one starter from last season and have seven new faces on the roster.
“We have a deep team this year, so it makes it hard for guys to get a lot of minutes,” Champagne said. “That’s why it is taking a while for the guys to figure out their roles. I feel like this team will keep getting better as the season goes along.”
HUNTSVILLE — The North Alabama women’s basketball team held off a second-half rally by Benedict to record its first win of the season with a 73-70 triumph over the Tigers on Sunday. Four players reached double figures in scoring for the Lions (1-1) who split season-opening games at the GSC-SIAC Challenge.
Jennifer Towne led UNA with 17 points, including 10 in the second half as the Lions withstood a late Benedict charger. After leading 38-23 at the break, North Alabama extended its lead to 18 points on a 3-pointer by Towne in the opening minutes of the second half. The 41-23 lead, however, would be the largest of the day for UNA as the Tigers began their comeback.
A 15-2 run cut the lead to five at 45-40 with 13:56 remaining. Benedict got to within three twice in the second half, including a layup at the buzzer to account for the final score.
Towne, a freshman from Jonesboro, Ark., was 4-of-9 from the floor including a pair of 3-pointers.
Lauren Faris was 3-for-4 from 3-point range and finished with 12 points. Nichelle Fillmore and Randle Mekena added 11 points each.
North Alabama will play its third game in as many days tonight when the Lions host Fisk at 6 p.m.
PENSACOLA, Fla. — The North Alabama women’s soccer team saw its 2012 season come to an end Sunday with a 4-2 loss to West Florida in the semifinal round of the NCAA Division II South Regional.
Having already lost to West Florida twice this season, UNA gained the upper hand with a goal from Chloe Roberts just 49 seconds into the match. The No. 2 Argonauts (20-1) then scored three straight goals before UNA closed it to 3-2 in the 54th minute. UWF added an insurance goal for the 4-2 win.
UNA ends its season 13-6-1.
Roberts early goal was her 17th of the season. UNA’s second goal came from Jennifer Osmond at the 53:32 mark off an assist from Jo Chubb. It was Osmonds’s 11th goal of the season. The Lions were outt-shot 19-5 by West Florida in the match. Morgan Grace had five saves for the Lions.
West Florida continued its post-season success against UNA, having defeated the Lions in three Gulf South Conference Tournament finals since 2009 and two NCAA semifinals.