After trailing by as many as 11 points in the second half, the University of North Alabama men's basketball team rallied for a 96-89 Gulf South Conference win at Christian Brothers Saturday evening. The win evens UNA's GSC record at 4-4 on the year and gives the Lions a 10-6 overall mark for the season.
Nathan Spehr scored 23 points, including 15 in the second half as North Alabama broke an eight-game losing streak to the Buccaneers. The win also marked UNA coach Bobby Champagne's first in Canale Areana.
UNA trailed 44-37 at the break and faced a 55-44 deficit with 16:36 remaining. The Lions got hot on offense to begin the comeback, shooting 55.9 percent from the floor in the second half.
The Lions were down 61-53 before scoring seven straight points to cut the deficit to a single point. A basket by Rashaun Claiborne made the score 61-60 with 13:09 remaining. CBU led 68-65 before a three-pointer by Spehr and a basket by Calvin Dade gave UNA its first lead of the second half at 70-68.
Christian Brothers tied the game at 72-72, but would never regain the lead. Marquel Darrington converted a three-point play on the ensuing possession and the Lions maintained the lead down the stretch.
Another three-point play by Bruce Adams put UNA on top 85-80 at the 2:34 mark. The Bucs missed from three-point range on the other end and a layup by Spehr pushed the lead to seven in the final two minutes of play. North Alabama hit 9-of-10 free throws to seal the win.
Adams finished with 20 points for the Lions. Claiborne and Calvin Dade added 13 points each while Wes Long hit a trio of three-pointers and finished with 11 points on the night.
Christian Brothers' Trey Casey led all scorers with 31 points for the Bucs.
Both teams shot over 50 percent for the game. CBU was 31-of-60 (51.7 percent) from the floor, while UNA hit 31-of-59 (52.5 percent) of its attempts.
UNA will host West Alabama on Thursday to begin a five-game GSC homestand. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at Flowers Hall.