The University of North Alabama men's basketball team broke a two-game slide by rallying for an 86-83 home win over Shorter Saturday evening at Flowers Hall. After trailing by 14 in the first half and 45-35 at the break, UNA outscored the visitors 51-38 over the final 20 minutes to get the win.
Calvin Dade scored a game-high 24 points, including 15 in the second half to lead the comeback.
In the second half, the Lions cut the deficit to five or less on several occasions, only to have Shorter stretch the lead back to nine. UNA made its last move with just under eight minutes to play.
After a three-point basket by Rashaun Claiborne made the score 75-72, the two teams traded baskets before the Lions got a defensive stop. A jumper by Claiborne pulled the Lions to within a single point with 4:37 remaining.
After Shorter connected on one of two free throws, Dade made a pair of foul shots to tie the game at 80-80. The Hawks never regained the advantage.
Misses by each team gave the ball back to Shorter with 2:28 remaining. After drawing a foul, the Hawks' Dedric Ware missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw attempt. The Lions took advantage at the other end of the floor, finding Wes Long for the go-ahead three-point basket at the 1:39 mark.
Shorter cut the lead to one on a basket by Travis Jones, but Claiborne hit a pair of free throws and the Hawks misfired again from the foul line down the stretch.
A free throw by Nathan Spehr gave UNA an 86-83 lead and missed three-pointer by Shorter's Brandon Pullman in the closing seconds sealed the win for the Lions.
Claiborne and Marquel Darrington added 16 points each for North Alabama. Spehr also reached double figures for the game with 10 points. Jere Vucia also just missed a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds.
UNA will host Union Tuesday evening. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at Flowers Hall.
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