Union knocks off UWA men at buzzer

Published 9:03 am Monday, January 27, 2014

Union’s Corieon Pearson netted a 3-pointer as regulation expired to defeat West Alabama 80-79 in Gulf South Conference basketball action Saturday at Fred DeLay Gymnasium.

Union breaks a three game losing skid to improve to 9-7 overall and 5-5 in the GSC. The win snaps a five game win streak for UWA, who fell to 10-6 and 7-3.

West Alabama held a six point lead in the first five minutes of the game, but shot 34.8 percent from the field in the first half to trail 41-27 at the break.

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The Tigers surged back in the second half, shooting 60 percent from the field and 18-of-18 from the free-throw line, to regain the lead in the final three minutes. UWA held its final lead with three seconds left in the game as Jared Woolfolk hit a layup to put the Tigers up 79-77.

“This was a tough one,” UWA head coach Mark Downey said.

“I’m really proud of our guys who were on the floor at the end of the game. I learned a lot from tonight. We should have called a timeout after scoring at the end. I didn’t think they had enough time to make a play, but Pearson made an amazing shot. We gave him that confidence by allowing him to make that shot all night. For some reason we were just not mentally and physically ready to go to night. I don’t know if it was from being on the road so long, but I have to do a better job of having our guys prepared.”

Pearson’s game winning 3-pointer gave him 25 points on the night, shooting 6-of-7 from behind the arc; 8-of-11 from the field.

Desmond Raymond led UWA in scoring with his third career high performance this season. Raymond finished with 29 points shooting 10-of-13 from the field; 5-of-6 behind the arc.

Jared Woolfolk followed Raymond with a career best of 19 points. Jarell Byrd finished with 14, while Lleon Tillman led with 10 rebounds.

Roy Bullock and Ashanti Day each scored double-figures for the Bulldogs. Day with 18 and Bullock with 16.

West Alabama will now travel to take on the current GSC leader, Delta State, in the third of a four game road stretch. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. at the Walter Sillers Coliseum on Thursday.

“Delta State is going to be tough,” said Downey. “The road definitely doesn’t get any easier for us. We just have to bounce back and push forward.”