Photo courtesy of GoArgos.com

by Christian Skewes

Friday, Nov. 15 the West Florida women’s basketball team defeated the Pensacola Christian College Eagles 68-45 in the first home game of the 2019-2020 season. This game also marks the first meeting of the two teams in school history.

Coming into the match up West Florida (2-1 GSC 0-0) was looking to bounce back from their 48-59 road game loss to Fort Valley State and to defend their home turf. The Eagles (2-5) who suffered a tough loss to the University of New Orleans in their last game were determined to give UWF a challenge.

The first half of the game was a highly contested shootout with numerous lead changes all throughout. Despite being undersized in every position, Pensacola Christian managed to move the ball around and make some perimeter three-point shots early in the first quarter.

The Argos would respond by getting physical and forcing shots in the paint, improving the score 12-8 with 2:31 left in the quarter.

With 8:50 left in the second quarter the Eagles would take the lead again, 17-15, after a good layup made by freshman forward Maddy Spivey. Both squads would then go back and forth with missed offensive opportunities.

Later in the quarter, the Argos would respond by making back to back three-pointers and playing more physically at the point of attack. Continuing to pour it on, UWF would go into half time with a seven point lead on Pensacola Christian 31-24.

In the second half of the match up West Florida would play lights out and dominate their opponents in almost every facet of the game.

Playing with a passion, the Argos would hold the Eagles to only six points in the third quarter. This was the least amount of points the UWF defense has allowed in a quarter this season.

“PCC played really hard and aggressive,” UWF sophomore center Ashaunti Brown said. “They made us work hard for rebounds and their three-point shooting was a challenge for us too.”

West Florida managed to hold PCC to 32 percent shooting from the field, 27.3 percent on three-point attempts, and only 10 points scored in the paint; making this game their best defensive performance of the season thus far.

Pensacola Christian was met with offensive struggles and turnovers all throughout the second half and wouldn’t manage to recover in time before regulation was called.

“I am really proud of the effort we played with today,” PCC women’s basketball coach Jared Sellars said. “We played a very good UWF team that outsizes us at every position.  We competed hard for 40 minutes and learned a lot about ourselves as a team today.”

 

“I think we were able to win because we played to our strengths as a team and played together where everyone was on the same page,” Brown said. “Our upperclassmen Danielle Norquest and Faithe Franklin have really been our leaders this year.”

Brown continued, “I feel like we all challenge each other every day in practice to make one another better which then translates great in games.”

 

Norquest managed to put up a double-double against the Eagles, her second time doing so in the first three games of the season; Amassing 19 points (a career high) and 15 rebounds, respectively. Franklin would score eight points and score on 57 percent of her shots made from the field.

 

Now in her eighth year as head of the women’s basketball program, coach Stephanie Yelton has a current 134-77 career record with the Argos and has made four NCAA Regional Tournament appearances in the last six years and a trip to the Elite Eight in 2017.

“Coach Yelton is very inspiring, passionate and caring,” Brown said. “She pushes and encourages us every day in practice to be the best that we can be. She always puts things into perspective for us and keeps us on track for our goals.”

 

The Argos will hit the road for their next three games against Springhill College and then GSC opponents Union, and Christian Brothers on November 19, 23 and 25; respectfully.

 

“Road games are all about taking care of business,” Brown said. “At the end of the day we understand why we’re there and we have to come into the game with lots of energy.”  

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