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Despite going 3-for-16 from three-point range, the University of North Alabama men's basketball team opened Gulf South Conference play with a 67-55 home win over West Florida Thursday evening to improve to 6-0 on the season.
The win sets up a Saturday afternoon matchup against 6-0 Valdosta State. The Blazers opened GSC play with an 83-70 win at Union on Thursday.
With shots not falling against the Argonauts, UNA turned to its defense. The Lions forced 24 turnovers on the night that led to 28 points. West Florida struggled even more from long range, connecting on just 2-of-12 attempts.
North Alabama raced out to an early 23-7 lead before UWF began to close the gap. The Argonauts used a 16-8 run to cut the deficit to 21-23 at the break.
In the second half, West Florida got to within a single point but could never tie or take the lead. A pair of UWF free throws made the score 43-42 with 12:13 remaining. The Lions responded with five straight points, including four from Bruce Adams to regain a 48-42 advantage at the 9:46 mark.
Leading 59-54 with 3:41 remaining, the Lions secured the win by closing the game on an 8-1 run. West Florida was held without a field goal over the final 4:10 of play.
Adams and Marquel Darington scored 19 points each to lead UNA. Rashaun Claiborne added 10 points for the Lions.
Tip-off time for the Valdosta State game has been changed to 2 p.m. at Flowers Hall.