The Lions’ began their mission and ended it with DeAndre Hersey, who poured in a game-high 26 points to lead the Lions to a 69-53 win over the Statesmen in Gulf South Conference men’s basketball action.
Delta State fell to 4-7 overall with a 0-3 mark in GSC play. North Alabama improved to 10-2 overall with a 3-1 record in GSC action.
North Alabama jumped out to a 14-5 lead with 10:41 remaining in the first half to take control of the game.
Delta State struggled with its starting lineup, but the reserves came in the game to light the fire in the Statesmen on both ends of the floor. The bench accounted for 11 of the team's first half points.
The reserves managed to close the gap to 18-11 with 6:15 on the clock, but the Lions put together some key baskets that increased their lead to 28-17 at halftime.
In the first half, the Statesmen held the Lions to just 35.7 percent shooting from the floor, but the Lions held the Statesmen to just 17.4 percent shooting from the floor. The Statesman also committed 10 turnovers in the first half.
The Statesmen opened the second half strong behind two free throws from Cornell Knight, who sat most of the first half in foul trouble, and two short jumpers from Mike Weems pulled the Statesmen to within five points at 30-25.
That would be as close as the Statesmen could get as the Lions’ offense kicked things in gear.
During the course of the game, every time Delta State would score, North Alabama would answer with a score.
There were no lead changes or any ties in the ball game. North Alabama controlled things from the opening tip.
Jack Magden led the Statesmen with 13 points, and Matt Allbritton scored 11 points off the bench. Terry Leake, Jr. finished with eight points and nine rebounds, Brice Rowe scored seven points and Ryan Smith contributed with nine rebounds.
Marquel Darrington scored 11 points to help the Lions’ cause.
The Statesmen will be back on the court next Thursday at Shorter University in another GSC clash. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. in Rome, Ga.