Raymond leads UWA to win over Claflin

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, December 4, 2013

West Alabama men’s basketball senior Desmond Raymond posted a season high of 22 points, shooting 8-for-11 from the field, to lead the Tigers to an 85-62 victory over Claflin in Pruitt Hall on Tuesday.

West Alabama (3-2) improved from shooting 37.5 percent (12-for-32) from the field in the first half to 68 percent (17-for-25) in the second half. The Tigers held Claflin (3-4) scoreless from behind the arc in the first half to take a 31-20 lead at the break.

“We dominated the game statistically, but it didn’t feel like it,” UWA head coach Mark Downey said.

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“As a coach, I wasn’t really happy with this performance. I think our starters came out lazy and unready to play, and we can’t have that. Our guys picked it up in the second half, but we have to be a lot better. We did have some guys step up, I was happy about that. Although Desmond didn’t start out well, he really turned it on in the second half, which is hard to do. They struggled to guard him in man coverage which allowed him to get to the rim whenever he wanted.”

Cordell Pope came off the bench to record 19 points, shooting 4-for-4 in the second half from the 3-point arc; 5-for-8 overall. Jarell Byrd and DeMarco Spears each finished with 11 points, while Mychael Bester led with 10 total rebounds.

Montel Williams led the Panthers in scoring with 20 points, finishing 7-for-9 from the field.

West Alabama will now travel to take on Stillman on Saturday in its last non-conference game of the season. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Birthright Gymnasium.