Argos basketball extend win streak after close game


Ben Johnson, Staff Writer

Led by LaTrell Tate and the nonstarters, UWF overcame persistent turnovers and the lack of shooting prowess to beat Albany State 78-76.

Tate’s 16 points off the bench along with starter Daniel Sofield’s 15 points gave UWF (4-0) the spark it needed to beat the Golden Rams (0-1).

“It was my first game here as an Argo and I just wanted to get the (win),” Tate said. 

Along with Tate’s 16 points, the bench contributed 39 points to the win, providing the much-needed roster depth the Argos needed last season.

“We’ve got a lot of different players that can score, a lot of players with many talents,” Tate said. “We don’t have to just get the ball to one person to win it for us. Anyone can make a play anytime.”

Coach Jeff Burkhamer said he was impressed with the new, young team’s ability to win late in the game and come from behind.

“We gave up the lead late, found a way to get the lead back,” Burkhamer said. “Happy for the win. Happy to go 4-0. Happy to get a home win.”

While UWF had 16 turnovers throughout the game, the Golden Rams could not capitalize on most of them, only scoring 13 points off the turnovers.

Early in the match, the Argos were missing jump shots and allowing easy baskets as they trailed by seven points six minutes into the game.

After the poor shooting start, Burkhamer subbed out the entire starting lineup with nearly 13 minutes left in the first half, which led to a spark on offense.

The Argos and Golden Rams played a tight game for the remaining first half, neither team leading by more than five points. 

With 0.7 seconds left, Sofield inbounded the ball from the endline, between the 3-point line and the paint, and quickly tossed the ball toward the basket with a fadeaway shot. As both teams watched the ball travel through the air, the buzzer quickly sounded. As the buzzer was still ringing, the shot made it through the hoop.

The buzzer-beater gave the Argos a 34-33 lead at halftime.

Throughout the second half, West Florida began scoring from the paint with higher success than their jump shots, scoring 46 points in the paint during the game.

Albany remained close throughout the matchup with the help of Malik Parker’s persistent 3-pointers as he shot 6-11 from behind the arc and scored 26 points for the Golden Rams.

The battle between the two teams led right up to the final buzzer as Tate managed to draw a foul after an Albany turnover, leading to two made free throws, tying the game at 74.

After a jump shot by UWF’s Darrin Jenkins and a layup by Albany’s Jordan Simpson, the teams were tied again at 76 points with 18 seconds remaining. 

This is when Tate took the ball, and with five seconds left in the game, pushed his way into the paint and made the go-ahead layup to seal the Argos’ fourth win of the season.