The University of West Georgia (UWG) Men’s basketball team suffered their third straight loss at the hands of the University of West Alabama (UWA) 80-78 this past Thursday. The loss brought the Wolves’ record to 10-4 on the season.
“Great effort by our guys we are in a little bit of a slide right here but it’s nothing that we can’t fight our way out of,” said UWG Head Coach Michael Cooney.
UWG has been beaten up with some key injuries to starters Stephan Thompson and Ryan Godfrey and were forced to play an adjusted game plan against UWA.
The Tigers of UWA were led in scoring by their senior guard Desmond Raymond who finished the game with 27 points and five assists. Raymond went 5-9 from behind the 3-point line while the entire UWA team shot an outstanding 73% from behind the arc, going 11-15 in the game.
“After the road trip we were just a little slow getting out there and contesting,” said Cooney. “We hoped that they would shoot a lot of 3’s early we just thought they would miss some of them.”
UWG ran a zone defense for nearly the entire game which naturally gave the Tigers a handful of good looks from behind the 3-point line.
“Do we want to play zone? No, we want to use our zone but we don’t want to have to go out there and do it for forty minutes and tonight we had to,” said Cooney. “It kept us in the game but down on the offensive end we weren’t patient as much as we need to be.”
Sandy Underwood and Jarell Byrd each added 18 points to the UWA total; they both went 3-3 from behind the 3-point line as well.
“We decided tonight with their personnel and their quickness that if we try and guard them man-to-man for forty minutes then we are going to be in foul trouble,” said Cooney.
UWG was led by freshman guard Deonta Stocks who had a career high 32 points on 11-20 shooting, Stocks also went 8-10 from the free throw line.
Stocks had a few key plays at the end of the game that almost pulled the game to overtime.
“Deonta Stocks is going to be a sensational player here, he is a sensational talent, but he is growing this is his sixth college game,” said Cooney. “This is not a seasoned vet playing, he is learning and he will get better but he is going to go and make some mistakes out there.”
Senior Philip Flowers also added 15 points while fellow senior Sean Boston finished the game with ten. Stocks and Lavon Gray played nearly the entire forty minutes while Godfrey left the game after only seven minutes due to calcium build up on his foot.
UWG was down 21-6 early in the first half but were able to fight back and go into half time only down 38-36. Both teams scored 42 points in the second half and the two point difference proved to be the difference at the end.
“We were one play away from tying this up and forcing overtime so it was a great job for our guys,” said Cooney.