UNA Women Eliminated From GSC Tournament
Homewood, Ala. - Nikkia Jordan and Brittany Weathers scored 17 points each and West Alabama dominated the boards in a 69-52 victory over the University of North Alabama women’s basketball team Saturday in the second round of the Gulf South Conference Tournament.
UNA (20-10) must now wait to see if it receives a bid to next week’s NCAA South Region Tournament. The Lions entered the GSC tourney ranked No. 5 in the region before winning a first-round game against Christian Brothers on Thursday.
Against UWA, the Lions faced issues that were not found during two wins over the Tigers during the regular season. UNA turned the ball over 19 times and hit only 10-of-17 free throw attempts on the day. The Tigers also held a commanding 41-33 rebounding advantage, scored 18 points off turnovers and 10 second-chance points.
“We turned the ball over too much and were out rebounded,” said UNA head coach Terry Fowler. “I tip my hat to West Alabama because they did a good job today. They are as good as anybody in the conference and did to us what we have been doing to our opponents all season with their physicality. It was just their day.”
West Alabama (14-14) shot just 38 percent from the floor in the first half, but still managed to take a 31-25 lead into the break. After the lead reached 10 in the second half, UNA used a 16-9 run to cut the deficit to three. A free throw by Sarah Bailey made the score 44-41 with 12:06 remaining but the Lions would get no closer.
The Tigers used a 16-2 run of their own to stretch the lead to 15 points and UNA never recovered.
North Alabama finished the game with just two three-point baskets and shot just 38 percent from the floor in the second half. Nichelle Fillmore led UNA with a game-high 19 points, but was the only player for the Lions to reached double figures in scoring.
The win by UWA sets up an unlikely rematch of last season’s GSC championship game against UAH. Although the two teams entered the season as the top two teams in the pre-season coaches poll, both West Alabama and UAH entered the conference tournament with losing records. Tip-off time for the title game is set for 1:30 p.m. at the Pete Hanna Center on the campus of Samford University in Birmingham.
Courtesy UNA Media Relations