UWF falls to Valdosta State 84-76 in Friday night showdown

UWF falls to Valdosta State 84-76 in Friday night showdown

Hansen Hasenberg, Writer

The Argos came up short after a tightly contested matchup with the Blazers on Friday. 

UWF came into the game holding a record of 7-10 overall and were on a two-game win streak with wins over Auburn-Montgomery and Montevallo.

The Blazers entered the game as the 20th ranked team in the nation and boasting a 12-4 record.

It was a tale of two halves as UWF controlled most of the first half, going into halftime with a 41-36 lead.

At one point in the first half, the Argos held an 11-point lead over the Blazers.

That lead slowly slipped away, as the Blazers were able to take advantage of second chance opportunities, taking a 9-2 advantage over UWF in second chance points into halftime. VSU scored 15 second chance points to just 4 from UWF for the entire game.

During the first half, UWF shot 66.7% from beyond the arch, connecting on 8 of 12 three-point shots. The Argos hit on 51.7% of all their first half field goal attempts while the Blazers shot just 40.5%.

UWF’s Brett Carter Jr. came off the bench to score 11 points before halftime. All other players had 8 or fewer points, including starters on both teams.

Despite the relative success and lead at half, the Argos were in for a long and tenuous second half.

The Argos held onto their lead for a good part of the second half, but the Blazers were always right on the edge of overtaking them until they eventually succeeded.

VSU’s second half rally was led by Imoras Agee with a 24-point performance. He had 19 points in the second half alone.

“He’s one of the best in the league,” said UWF coach Jeff Burkhamer. “He’s a really tough to guard because he does a good job of getting in position.”

VSU also had Cam Hamilton (16 points), Jacolbey Owens (12 points), and Burke Putnam (11 points) in double digits in the game.

UWF did not lay down lightly as Wendall Matthews and Tarik Mckelphin each posted 18 points in the game and were right in the middle of the action throughout the second half.

According to Coach Burkhamer, both Matthews and Mckelphin both battled despite coming up short.

“And then Wendell, he’s battling like crazy, said Burkhamer. “I thought he was getting hammered a lot, but he continued to fight and that’s what you want from your big guys.”

Although the game was physical, where UWF really lost the game was shooting.

The Argos went from having a very good first half from three-point land to this part of their game disappearing entirely in the second half. They hit none of their three-point attempts and did not take many three-point shots, just five attempts in the half.

VSU seemingly turned the game into a physical one that was primarily played in the paint and UWF just was not able to connect when they had the chance.

The Argos also struggled late in free throw shooting, connecting on just 50% of their attempts from the line in the second half.

VSU won the game 84-76, preventing UWF from making good on their upset bid.

The Argos play the Blazers again today at 3 p.m. in the UWF Field House.