UWA men claim first conference win

Published 10:15 am Friday, January 11, 2013

LIVINGSTON – West Alabama men’s basketball senior Steven Samuels posted 21 points in a thrilling 77-74 overtime victory against West Florida in Pruitt Hall on Thursday.

“There is no doubt that the kids did an excellent job tonight,” said head coach Mike Newell. “Steven Samuels did an excellent job tonight. He always gives a great effort, sometimes it gets him into trouble but sometimes it is great for us.”

The victory over West Florida (7-6; 2-3) marks the first Gulf South Conference win for West Alabama (5-6; 1-3) this season.

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Along with Samuels, three other Tigers broke the double-digit scoring mark against the Argonauts. Sandy Underwood and Jack Hill both posted 15 points while Kervens Calixte recorded 10 points.

West Alabama trailed in the second half by as many as seven points despite a two point lead at half time. In the final three minutes the Tigers chipped away at West Florida and claimed a two point lead off of two Sandy Underwood free-throws in the final 30 seconds. West Florida’s Peter Connole answered back with a layup to tie the game at 66 as final regulation time ticked off.

West Alabama did not trail West Florida again. Steven Samuels hit five of the eleven overtime points for the Tigers to lead his team to the final 77-74 victory.

“It was a good win,” Newell said. “We’ll take it. Now we have to regroup. We have a tough game Saturday against Valdosta State and we need to come out and hopefully get back to .500 and claim another win in the conference.

The Tigers are set to take on Valdosta State on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.