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UWA men outlast Shorter

West Alabama men’s basketball shot 23-of-26 from the free throw line, including 6-of-6 in the final minute to defeat Shorter 86-82 in Gulf South Conference action Sunday at the Winthrop-King Centre. Jared Woolfolk led the Tigers with a career high 30 points.

The win marks the fourth straight and improves UWA to 13-8 overall and 10-5 in the GSC. Shorter dropped its sixth straight loss to fall to 8-14 and 5-11.

“Two weeks ago we let this kind of game slip away, but tonight we didn’t,” said UWA head coach Mark Downey.

“We told our guys that Shorter only had two guys that could beat us, and they almost did. We just didn’t do a good job of guarding them. We will take the win, especially late in the conference on the road. We did some good things tonight. We really matured.”

The Tigers controlled much of the first half building a 49-41 lead at the break by shooting 16-of-28 from the field. The Hawks battled back to tie the game ton three occasions in the second half, taking an 81-80 lead with one minute left to play.

In the final minute, Woolfolk, Sandy Underwood and Demetrius Powe each completed 2-of-2 of their free-throws, while the Hawks shot 1-of-4.

Woolfolk hit his personal best shooting 8-of-16 from the field and 9-of-9 free-throws. He also led with three steals.

Sandy Underwood was perfect from behind the arc shooting 5-of-5 and 7-of-8 free-throws. He ended with 24 points.

Dedric Ware led the Hawks with 35 points. He had 29 first half and ended the game shooting 11-of-19 from the field, including 6-of-8 from the 3-point line.

Jordan Jacks recorded a double-double for Shorter with 26 points and 12 boards.

West Alabama will return home Tuesday to face Alabama-Huntsville. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Pruitt Hall.

“We now have to get ready for UAH,” Downey said. “They are playing some great ball right now. They are one game behind us, and if they beat us they hold the tie breaker, so we have to bring it. This will be the biggest game of the year for us.”

The game can be heard on ESPN 104.9 and ESPN1049.com.