After trailing by as many as 15 points in the first half, the University of North Alabama women's basketball team rallied for a 75-64 victory over West Florida to open Gulf South Conference play Thursday evening at Flowers Hall.
Nichelle Fillmore and Mekena Randle combined for 35 points as the Lions improved to 6-2 on the season and 1-0 in league play. Fillmore, a junior from Birmingham, scored 17 of her game-high 19 points in the second half. With the loss, UWF falls to 2-5 overall and 0-1 in GSC action.
West Florida grabbed the early momentum, taking a 23-8 lead with 6:40 remaining in the first half. The Lions, however, rallied to tie the game at the break.
A layup by Randle cut the deficit to 31-28 with eight seconds to play before the Lions got a steal on the inbounds pass by Lauren Faris, who found Jennifer Towne cutting for a layup with 1.2 seconds remaining. Towne was fouled and converted the three-point play to tie the game at the break.
In the second half, Fillmore went to work in the post, connecting on 8-of-12 shot attempts over the final 20 minutes of play. She was also 1-of-1 from the free throw line and added six rebounds on the night.
The score was tied at 49-49 with 9:49 remaining before UNA closed the game on a 26-15 run. Randle finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds to record her sixth double-double in eight games. Faris rounded out the scoring for North Alabama with 13 points, including a pair of three-pointers and a 7-of-8 showing at the foul line.
UNA will host Valdosta State on Saturday. Tip-off is set for noon at Flowers Hall.