By Tyler Wood

Staff Writer

After a four-game road trip to open the 2018-19 season, the UWF women’s basketball team was welcomed home by an energetic crowd Tuesday night, as the Lady Argos cruised to a 105-74 win over Spring Hill College.

No, that’s not the score for the NBA All-Star Game. You read it right. Defense was optional and West Florida was the beneficiary.

Senior transfer guard Anna Hall made an admirable first impression in her debut at the UWF Field House, notching a triple-double through the guise of a protective face mask with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Seniors Halee Nieman and Toni Brewer scored 25 and 21 points, respectively, and helped Hall lead the Argos (4-1) to their first home win of the season. Brewer grabbed 11 rebounds and leads the Gulf South Conference in that category (66) and is now tied for the most double-doubles in Division-II (4).

Head coach Stephanie Yelton said the Argos were itching to get back home after waiting nearly 10 months between games at the Field House.

“Our fans have been eager to get us back in the Field House,” Yelton said. “We’d been on the road for four games straight. It was just nice to have a great outing today in front of our home fans.”

Hall’s triple-double was the highlight of the night, but she said it didn’t cross her mind until graduate assistant Alex Coyne told her she was four rebounds away from the feat.

“I was like ‘whoa’,” Hall said. “I really had no idea. Stats aren’t really what I’m thinking about when I’m playing. I mean, it was pretty cool, but I wasn’t thinking about it.”

Yelton was quick to add that Hall’s contributions in her short time as an Argonaut have made the team more dynamic on both ends of the floor.

“We’re obviously happy to have (Hall) on our roster because she’s a well-rounded player,” Yelton said. “She’s got a very versatile game, and we need that. That brings another element for us. It brings another well-rounded player to play with Halee Nieman and Toni Brewer and Belle Bistrow. When this roster is clicking, man, some great things can happen.”

Bistrow’s performance flew under the radar compared to Hall’s triple-double, but she connected on 6-of-9 three pointers to finish with 20 points.

Hall said the team has made her feel at home since she transferred in the offseason, and the chemistry off the court helps feed the success on the court.

“It’s been so nice,” Hall said. “Right when I got here everyone was talking to me and it was like I’ve been here. I mean, I wish I’d been here longer, but they don’t treat me any different than the other people who have been here for four years.”

Tuesday night’s contest was the first of a five-game homestand for the Argos, who will be back in action next Thursday in the GSC opener against Christian Brothers University (2-0). Yelton said she expects a tight matchup with the Lady Bucs after last season’s 8-point loss in Memphis.

“We lost to them last year in a really close game at their place. It’s a battle every time we face them,” Yelton said. “They’re a hard team to defend. They play extremely hard on the defensive end. It’s hard to get open looks against them.”

The Argos will tip off against the Lady Bucs on Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m. in the UWF Field House and will host GSC rival Union University (5-0) Saturday, Dec. 1.

“Of course we can’t overlook (Christian Brothers) getting ready for that Union game on Saturday,” Yelton said. “We’ve got to put two really good back-to-back games together to start conference play next week.”

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