Behind a 19-point, nine-assist night from junior guard Josh Magette (Birmingham), the top seeded Alabama-Huntsville men's basketball team fought off a pesky eighth seeded Clark Atlanta team 77-63 in the first-ever South Region game hosted at Spragins Hall in Huntsville.
Whether it was a key pass or key steal, Magette controlled the game for the Blue and White despite the Panthers best attempts to corral the All-Region player. No stranger to highlight reel plays, Magette made a huge layup early in the first half on his way to the ground that brought the Charger faithful to their feet. The bucket put the junior over the 1,000-point mark becoming just the 20th player in UAH history to reach the mark.
"I had a great pass from Conner Blasi and the play really got everyone into the game," noted Magette.""It felt like the game was never going to get here. We were ready to play tonight at home."
UAH's other All-South Region selection, Zane Campbell (West Limestone) played a big role in the win as well with a 15-point, nine-rebound night as the Chargers advanced in NCAA play for the first time since the 1999-00 season.
"The significant key to this game was doing a good job disrupting their shooters and big help from our bench with big plays from Elliot Jones and Xavior Bladwin," remarked UAH skipper Lennie Acuff ""Tonight was a good win, we had to figure out how to score one more than them. We played good when we had to. We really appreciate the great crowd we had tonight and we will need them tomorrow, we are two away and it is only going to get harder."
Baldwin helped sparked the Chargers with a 5-for-8 shooting performance off the bench as the sophomore from Adamsville dropped a dozen on the Panthers. Sophomore guard Jaime Smith (Birmingham) rouned out the double-figure scoring for UAH with 13 points including hitting 8-of-9 from the charity stripe.
The Chargers advance to take on the winner of Saturday night's final opening game of the South Regional between No. 4 Arkansas Tech and No. 5 Benedict. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night at Spragins Hall.