Sophomore forward Deangelo Legrier (right) dribbles past Valdosta State guard Jacob Obande (left).Photo by Christian Graves
Sophomore forward Deangelo Legrier (right) dribbles past Valdosta State guard Jacob Obande (left).
Photo by Christian Graves

Kenneth King
Staff Writer

The University of West Florida men’s basketball team lost a home game Saturday afternoon when they faced off against Valdosta State in a match that ended with a last-minute upset of 66-67.

The loss brings the Argonaut’s overall record for the season to 6-11 and 2-9 in the Gulf South Conference (GSC).

Audience members rose to their feet in the last seconds of the game, only to shout in disapproval when an Argo fouled a Valdosta State player, resulting in a foul shot victory for the Blazers.

The Agros dominated the first quarter, running through the Blazer’s defense with a series of layups and scoring several three pointers.

The Blazer’s stepped up their defense in the second half and took the lead as the Argos lost momentum.

Head coach Bob Stinnett said his players’ loss of focus is what led them to trouble during the second half of the game.

“We played really well early,” Stinnett said. “We have a tendency, whether there’s five minutes, eight minutes, 10 minutes [left], to go brain dead. That’s where we get in trouble. We lost our 15-point lead because we started losing our focus. It happens to a lot of teams.

“We’ve got talent. We play really brilliant at times, and then we go to sleep at times. It’s almost like a switch. With three minutes and 20 seconds to go we flipped the switch and we came back and played really hard.”

The Argo’s top point-maker Erin Straughn, who scored 19 points and 10 rebounds, emphasized the need to play smarter.

“We were able to make some good free throws tonight, but we couldn’t play with the necessary energy needed to play through the entire game. We play pretty hard; we’ve just got to play smarter to get the win.”

This loss places the Argos in last place in the GSC.

The men’s basketball team will host North Alabama on Jan. 22 and Alabama-Huntsville on Jan. 24 at the UWF Field House.

For more information on UWF basketball, go to http://goargos.com/index.aspx?path=mbball&.