2004-05 Articles Archive: February – March
Another climb in the national rankings
Carrollton, GA – February 1, 2005 – The West Georgia Braves have continued their ascension toward the top of NCAA Division II Men¹s Basketball. West Georgia Tuesday moved to fourth in the weekly NABC/Division II Coaches Poll. The ranking, which matches UWG¹s highest o
West Georgia was previously ranked fourth in the January 11th poll. However, the Braves fell to seventh the following week, after a loss to Valdosta State. Since that defeat, the Braves have rolled off five consecutive victories to boast a record of 18-2, and a mark of 6-1 in the GSC East Division.
Minnesota State-Mankato is this week’s top ranked team. They are followed by Bentley (Mass.), Findlay (Ohio), West Georgia and Fort Lewis (Colo.). UWG is the only Gulf South Conference team ranked in this week¹s Top 25, though Central Arkansas and Valdosta State both received votes for this week’s poll.
Beyond matching their highest ranking of the season, West Georgia this week came within one spot of equaling its highest ranking ever for an Ed Murphy team. Murphy’s 1997 squad spent one week at the number three spot before finishing the season ranked 13th.
West Georgia’s all-time highest ranking is second. The Braves’ 1987 GSC championship team spent one week as the nation’s second-ranked team. No West Georgia team has ever been ranked at the top of the Division II Men’s Basketball.
Beyond their national ranking, the Braves are anxiously awaiting Wednesday’s release of the Division II South Region rankings. West Georgia is expected to remain the top team in rankings that determine which teams earn bids to the NCAA Tournament.
NABC Division II Poll
1. Minn. State-Mank. 19-2
2. Bentley, Mass. 21-2
3. Findlay 17-2
4. West Georgia 18-2
5. Fort Lewis 17-2
6. Texas A&M-Comm.; 17-3
7. Metro State 16-2
8. USC-Upstate 15-3
8. Virginia Union 15-2
10. Edinboro, PA 17-2
11. SIU-Edwardsville 17-4
12. Kennesaw State 15-3
13. Seattle Pacific 15-4
14. Central Miss. State 15-4
15. Florida Gulf Coast 18-4
16. Hawaii-Hilo 18-2
17. Bowie State 15-3
18. Nebraska-Omaha 17-3
19. Southern Indiana 15-4
20. SW Okla. State 16-3
21. Pfeiffer 12-3
22. Washburn 17-4
23. Saint Anselm 17-4
24. South Dakota 16-4
25. North Dakota 18-5
Forchion East POW; Braves remain atop region
Carrollton, GA – February 2, 2005 – The West Georgia Braves Wednesday continued their run atop the region rankings. West Georgia again this week sits atop the rankings of the South Region of NCAA Division II. The Braves, now 18-2 on the season, continue to set the pace in the poll that determines which teams will advance to next month¹s NCAA Division II Tournament.
Following the Braves atop the region rankings is GSC West member Arkansas-Monticello, followed by Florida Gulf Coast, both of whom lost Monday night. Valdosta State is ranked fourth, followed by Eckerd, Barry, and Lynn, all of the Sunshine State Conference. Montevallo is eighth, with Morehouse ninth and Ouachita Baptist.
Bids to the NCAA Division II Tournament will be extended March 3. Automatic berths go to the champions of the region’s three major conferences: the GSC, SIAC, and SSC. At large tourney bids will be extended to the next five highest seeds.
Beyond UWG’s team ranking, senior forward Tamal Forchion Wednesday was named GSC East Division Player of the Week. Forchion earned the honor with last Saturday’s monster performance vs. Lincoln Memorial. His numbers included 22 points on 10-of-11 shooting, and 10 rebounds.
Forchion’s league honor was only the second of the season for a West Georgia player. Guard Majestic Mapp captured the prize on December 21.
West Georgia returns to action Saturday, on the road, vs. Montevallo. The Braves defeated the defending GSC champion Falcons, 73-70, in a classic last month in Carrollton.
Round 2 goes to Montevallo
Montevallo, Ala. – February 4, 2005It’s tough to play a great team and make mistakes and win the game. West Georgia made too many mistakes and wound up on the short end of a 95-79 score at Montevallo Saturday night.
In the first half, the Falcons came out hot as a pistol and UWG was cold as ice. Montevallo built lead on the back of eight three-pointers. James Hall hit three and Dayton Miller had two in the first 10 minutes.
“When you play a team like this, you’ve got to play well early,” said head coach Ed Murphy. “We shot badly from the free-throw line and committed a lot of turnovers.”
The Braves committed five turnovers in the first five possessions of the game and ended up with 18 turnovers on the contest. West Georgia also missd eight free-throws in the opening half, shooting 4-of-12 from the charity stripe. In the game, UWG was 14-30 from the line.
Braves escape Livingston with a win
Livingston, Ala. – February 7, 2005 – West Georgia took everything West Alabama had to offer Monday night and still escaped Pruitt Hall with a 90-83 win despite fighing tooth-and-nail for nearly the entire contest.
Jared Hembree was hitting amazing three-pointers with someone in his face,” head coach Ed Murphy. “Antonio Shaw did a good job on him and he finally missed one at the end, but he and his team has us worried all night.”
It was a shooting battle between UWA’s Hembree and West Georgia’s Ryan Madry on the evening. Madry hit six-of-nine on the night from the field while Hembree hit eight-of-nine from beyond the arc.
“Madry was such a great player for us tonight,” Murphy said. “It came down to the end and we had several offensive rebounds and putbacks that really put the game away.” 1st Half:
West Georgia came out slow and West Alabama took advantage for an early eight-point lead. The Braves continued to play a little slow, but finally tied the game at 18 just before the 10:00 mark.
West Alabama continued to hold the lead until West Georgia took their first lead of the game just before the 5:00 mark at 27-25.
After a timeout, Jared Hembree hit two straight three-pointers to give the Tigers a five-point lead at 34-29. But West Georgia in a flurry started by Rob Neal’s three-pointer gave the Braves a 35-34 lead in the blink of an eye.
But instead of a long run, a UWA layup at the buzzer tied the ballgame at 38 as the teams headed into the locker room. Both squads shot 45 percent for the first half.
Out of the half, both teams came out at breakneck speed, combining for three treys in the first minute after the break.
With 11:57 left in the contest, UWA coach Rick Reedy gets a technical and Neal hits both free-throws. West Georgia tried to pull away midway through the second half, but West Alabama played well and kept up by taking advantage of UWG turnovers.
After UWA tied the ballgame at 61 with 9:20 left in the game, Hembree gave the TIgers the lead at 64-63 with his sixth three-pointer of the contest. Miller answered right back by hitting a pair of free-throws and then found Madry in the corner for a trey and a four-point lead.
Hembree followed up with his seventh and eighth three of the game and the 12th lead change of the night at 75-73. But Madry came right back with a layup to tie the contest at 75.
With just under three minutes, Shaw gets a steal and a layup to give the Braves an 81-77 lead.
Up 83-78 with time running out, the Braves turned the ball over and UWA converted to pull within three at 83-80. Miller answered with a drive and missed a layup, but Tamal Forchion snagged rebound for the lay-in and the foul. The senior then hit a clutch free-throw to all-but seal the deal for West Georgia.
The Braves move to 19-3 on the season and 7-2 in conference play with Valdosta State coming to town Saturday night.
Darnell Miller – 14 points, 7 assists
Tamal Forchion – 13 points, 4 rebs.
Majestic Mapp – 12 points
Ryan Murphy – 8 points
Ryan Madry – 21 points
Antonio Shaw – 8 points, 11 rebounds
Chris Burras – 4 points, 9 rebounds
Rob Neal – 10 points, 4 rebounds
Top-10 standing stays intact despite loss
Carrollton, Ga. – February 8, 2005 – The loss to Montevallo Saturday night hurt West Georgia in Tuesday’s NABC rankings, but only slightly. The Braves remained in the top-10 nationally, dropping from fourth last week to seventh this week.
This is the seventh straight week the Braves have been ranked and the fourth straight in the top-10. The most weeks in a row that a West Georgia team has been ranked is 15 straight from February 7, 1983 to March 3, 1984.
The all-important region ranking comes out Wednesday where West Georgia and its supporters will be waiting to see if the Braves can hang on to their No. 1 ranking headed into Saturday’s matchup with Valdosta State. The regional rankings are what the NCAA looks at when determining which schools will go to the NCAA Regional tournament at the end of the season.
Arkansas-Monticello is the only other Gulf South Conference team ranked in the national top-25. The Boll Weevils checkeed in this week at 23. Florida Gulf Coast is the only other South Region team ranked, holding a ranking of 22.
The Braves host Valdosta State Saturday night in one of the biggest home games of the 2004-05 season. First tip is expected at 7:30 p.m.
Braves take another step forward over Valdosta
Carrollton, Ga. – February 12, 2005 – The feeling was electric, with fans painted and waving posters. There was no doubt for any person who stepped into the HPE Building Saturday night that it was time for Valdosta State and West Georgia to lock horns. And lock horns they did. But when the dust settled, West Georgia stood with a 78-64 victory over its fiercest rival.
The Blazers came out firing, but unlike the game earlier this season in Valdosta, when VSU hit a shot on this night, West Georgia answered back. Valdosta built a five point lead and hung onto that lead until the 6:05 mark in the first half.
A dunk by Tamal Forchion on a no-look pass from Darnell Miller gave the Braves the lead at 26-24 and the pendulum was beginning to swing in West Georgia’s favor. With 4:15 left in the half, Valdosta’s Travis Nelson hit a three-pointer to tie the contest at 29. 19 seconds later, an Antonio Shaw layup gave the Braves a lead that the Braves would not lose. When the horn sounded for the half, the Braves held an 11-point lead at 42-31.
The Braves built a 19-point lead in the first nine minutes of the second half and cruised to the victory.
Four Braves scored in double-figures on the evening, led by Majestic Mapp with 18 points and eight rebounds. Miller followed up with 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Forchion scored 15 points and Ryan Madry added 14. As a team, West Georgia shot 57 percent from the field, including 55 percent from the three-point line.
The Braves move to 20-3 on the year and 8-2 in the Gulf South Conference. Valdosta falls to 17-5 on the season and 7-3 in the GSC. The Braves host West Florida on Monday night at 7:30 PM.
A record falls as West Georgia takes down West Florida
Carrollton, Ga. – February 14, 2005 – The love of three-pointers was in the HPE Building Monday night as the West Georgia Braves won a shootout against the West Florida Argonauts, 98-85. Rob Neal, right, hit three treys, setting the all-time UWG record at 172 and counting.
Both teams came out of their respective locker rooms spotting up from the three-point line. In the first seven minutes of action, the Braves and Argos combined to hit 11 shots from beyond the arc. West Florida made six of those threes , building a 26-19 lead in that span.
With 10:29 left in the first half, Tuck Taylor hit a free-throw to complete a three-point play and put the Argos up by 10 at 35-25. Over the next 5:30, the Braves outscored West Florida 18-0 on the broad shoulders of Tamal Forchion, who scored six points during the run.
West Georgia continued to run over the next five minutes, leading 55-45 at the break. The Braves shot 63 percent in the first half, including 11-of-14 from the three-point line.
The second half was a game of runs, started by West Georgia jumping out to a 68-53 lead in the first three minutes of the period. But then it was West Florida’s turn to run, and the Argos came back to tie the game at 71 with 11:31 left in the game.
West Florida and the Braves stayed close for just over a minute until the media timeout. Neal started the run with a jumper out of the timeouut, followed by a three-pointer from Ryan Madry and a dunk by Antonio Shaw. Shaw broke free on a fast break and Darnell Miller threaded a 30-foot bounce pass for one of his 15 assists on the night.
That set up the record-breaking shot. After Maurice Thomas pulled West Florida to within six at 83-77, Miller raced down the court and handed the ball to Neal, who was trailing down on the fast break. The ball found the bottom of the net for the senior’s 171st three-pointer of his career, a West Georgia record.
The Braves built the lead up to 18 points before slowing down and dribbling out the clock in the final minute.
As a team, the Braves hit 17-of-22 three-pointers including 7-of-8 from Majestic Mapp. Mapp scored 29 points on the evening to lead West Georgia. Madry followed up with 17 on 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Forchion collected his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 15 points and nabbing 10 rebounds. Neal added 14 points on four-of-seven from the three-point line.
West Georgia moves to 21-3 on the season and 9-2 in the GSC East. West Florida falls to 11-13 on the year and 3-8 in conference play.
West Georgia falls in Huntsville
Carrollton, Ga. – February 19, 2005 –Playing the hottest team in the Gulf South Conference East Division at their place is not something any top-rated team enjoys preparing for. The West Georgia Braves found that out Saturday night in Huntsville, losing to the Alabama-Huntsville in a runaway.
The Braves entered Saturday’s contest at 21-3 on the year and fighting a flu-type bug. Three Braves and assistant coach David Draper had the flu on Saturday and Alabama-Huntsville took full advantage.
Braves came out of the gate shooting 27 percent in the first 10 minutes of the half while Jason Smith hit five three-pointers in the same span. The Chargers led West Georgia 25-9 with 10:16 left in the opening half.
Rob Neal hit a pair of treys to the Braves within 10 at the under-10 timeout. But the Chargers’ 10 three-pointers in the first half of play built a 47-34 lead at the break.
West Georgia shot 46 percent in the first half while the Chargers shot 58 percent. UAH shoots 52.6 percent from beyond the arc. Alabama-Huntsville stronger on the boards in the half with the absence of Tamal Forchion, leading the Braves in rebounding 15-12.
West Georgia scorers
Darnell Miller – 13 points
Majestic Mapp – 12 points
Tamal Forchion – 2 points
Ryan Murphy – 2 points
Ryan Madry – 17 points
Rob Neal – 6 points
Chris Burras – 2 points
Antonio Shaw – 11 points
West Georgia cut the lead to 11 in the first three minutes of the half, but the Chargers push it back out to 15 with a pair of buckets under the basket. Anytime the Braves would get to within striking distance, UAH hit a three or a pair of buckets in a row.
Mapp hits a three to get the Braves to within 15 at 68-53, but Micah de la Rosa’s trey just seconds later pushed the lead back out to 18.
Chargers continued the powerful three-point shooting in the second half, hitting 17 in the first 21 minutes of the contest. In the game, Alabama-Huntsville hit 19-of-35 from beyond the arc, a 54 percent clip.
Ryan Madry led the Braves with 17 points on the night while Antonio Shaw picked up his fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Braves are now 21-4 on the year and 9-3 in the Gulf South Conference with a trip to North Alabama looming on Monday.
NABC Division II Top-25: February 25, 2005
NABC/Division II Coaches Poll (February 15, 2005) Record Points Pvs1. Findlay, Ohio (7) 21-2 199 22. Metropolitan State, Colo. (1) 20-2 193 33. West Georgia 20-3 179 7 4. Bowie State, Md. 20-3 175 85. Bentley, Mass. 24-3 170 16. Central Missouri State 19-4 156 T107. Kennesaw State, Ga. 19-3 150 98. Virginia Union 19-3 146 69. Southern Indiana 19-4 131 1610. Pfeiffer, N.C. 18-3 120 1711. Texas A&M-Commerce; 19-4 112 512. Minnesota State, Mankato 19-5 100 413. Pittsburg State, Kan. 19-4 97 2314. Hawaii-Hilo 22-3 95 1315. Florida Gulf Coast 20-5 93 2116. Nebraska-Omaha 20-4 89 1217. Seattle Pacific, Wash. 17-5 71 T1018. Western Washington 17-4 66 NR19. Southwestern Oklahoma State 19-4 52 2520. Fort Lewis, Colo. 17-4 48 1421. Edinboro, Pa. 19-4 33 1522. Adelphi, N.Y. 19-4 30 1923. Arkansas-Monticello 18-5 22 2224. Mount Olive, N.C. 19-3 16 NR25. Southern Illinois Edwardsville 19-6 15 18Others receiving votes: Indianapolis 11, South Carolina Upstate 8,Washburn 7, St. Anselm 6, South Dakota 5, Cal Poly-Pomona 4, CalState-San Bernardino 3, Grand Valley State 1, Montevallo 1.All records are through games of Sunday, Feb. 13.The next poll will be released Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Rough weekend drops Braves to sixth nationally
Carrollton, Ga. - February 22, 2005 - The tough outing Saturday night took its first toll Tuesday when the NABC Division II Top 25 was announced. The Braves dropped out of the top five, but remained in the top-10 at sixth. It was the seventh straight week West Georgia has been ranked and the fourth straight in the top-10. The Braves were in third place last week, their highest ranking yet. West Georgia now awaits Wednesday's announcement of a new South Region ranking, where the Braves are nearly assured of falling out of the top spot for the first time this season. The region rankings are the more important of the two. The region rankings are what the NCAA Selection Committee uses for invitations to the NCAA South Regional, to be held two weeks from Friday.
Sickness hurts Braves in loss to UNA
Carrollton, Ga. - February 21, 2005 - Missing a major player can take its toll on a team and missing Tamal Forchion Monday night definitely took its toll on the West Georgia Braves. Without the senior forward, the North Alabama Lions took the Braves inside all night in a 96-83 victory over West Georgia. "There's no excuses at this time of year, all teams have kids with sickness," said head coach Ed Murphy. "We were just really outplayed tonight, it's very disappointing to not come out of this weekend with at least one win." The Braves and Lions came out exchanging shots in the early going. Darnell Miller hit a layup to pull West Georgia within three at 13-10, but Reprobatus Bibbs responded with a three-pointer to push the score back out to 16-10. UNA kept the lead at around six over the final 13 minutes of the first half, then hit two threes in the last two minutes of the half to build a 12-point lead. Rob Neal cut the lead to nine with a trey with 10 seconds left for the halftime score of 47-38. In the second half, the Braves puled to within two points twice, but missed opportunities to score as North Alabama pushed the lead to double digits late in the game to take down the Braves. West Georgia falls to 21-5 on the season and 8-4 in the GSC East. The Braves will remain in second place as the Valdosta State Blazers lost again tonight to Montevallo.
Darnell Miller - 18 points, 8 assists Majestic Mapp - 11 points Ryan Madry - 12 points Chris Burras - 9 points Antonio Shaw - 14 points, 16 rebounds Ryan Murphy - 5 points Rob Neal - 12 points Kenny Gordon -
UWG stays put in regional rankings
Carrollton, Ga. - February 23, 2005 - The West Georgia Braves' women's six-game winning streak continues to garner attention from the rest of the region. In Wednesday's regional rankings the Braves moved up to the seventh spot. On the men's side, the Braves stayed in at the top of the 10-team ranking. The Braves leapfrogged West Florida, but remained behind Paine and formerly 10th ranked Fort Valley State. GSC West power Central Arkansas retained the top spot and Henderson State dropped to third in the ranking. On the men's side, West Georgia stayed at the top, followed by Lynn, Florida Gulf Coast and Montevallo. Monday's loss at North Alabama was not included in this week's rankings. The regional rankings are used by the NCAA selection committees to determine participants in the 2005 South Regional. The conference champion from each of the three member conferences receives an automatic bid to the regional, followed by the next five highest ranked teams. Both teams finish up their respective seasons Saturday night against Lincoln Memorial. Nine seniors will finish up their home collegiate careers on that night. But the season doesn't finish there, as both squads have earned spots at the Gulf South Conference tournament next week in Tupelo, MS.
Braves outlast Lincoln Memorial on senior night
Carrollton, Ga. - February 26, 2005 - The Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters came ready to play Saturday and a 45 percent shooting effort kept the game close for most of the night. But a 49 percent effort out of the West Georgia Braves ensured a senior night victory in a 90-82 win for the Braves. West Georgia was smoking out of the gates, scoring the games first five points. But on 4-of-6 by John Stooksbury in the first half, the Railsplitters were able to come back and keep a lead for the majority of the first half. But that lead would stay only until the 1:40 mark in the first half, when a Ryan Madry put the Braves up 45-44, taking the lead for good. West Georgia scored the final six points of the first half and led 49-44 going into the locker room. The lead continued to grow in the second half, reaching 10 three times. But LMU continued to push, whittling the UWG lead to four twice in the final five minutes of the game. It was the Braves' seniors who stepped up in the last few minutes of the regular season, as a senior scored the final nine points of the game. Madry and Darnell Miller led the way on the night, scoring 20 points apiece. Miller collected his sixth double-double of the season with 11 assists on the night. Majestic Mapp turned in 19 points and Antonio Shaw added 11 to the cause. The Braves' train finishes the season at 22-5 and 10-4 in the GSC East. the next stop on the tour is in Tupelo, MS for the Gulf South Conference tournament Friday. The Braves are the second seed out of the east, scheduled for a 3:45 PM contest against the third-seeded Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils. The game can be heard at B92.1 in Carrollton and here at www.uwgbraves.com on the web.
Braves advance to semifinals against Delta State
Tupelo, MS - March 4, 2005 -West Georgia used an amazing defensive effort against Arkansas-Monticello to advance to the semi-finals of the GSC Tournament. The Braves won 70-66 in overtime behind the 27 points of Ryan Madry. The Braves had a hard time containing 6-foot-10 UAM center Jonathon Holland in the early going of the contest. In addition, the Boll Weevils' stout defense kept West Georgia at bay during the first half. UAM jumped out to a 10-point advantage at 18-8 before the Braves kicked things into gear. West Georgia used a 22-15 run over the final 10 minutes to pull within three at 33-30 heading into the locker room. In the second half, it was the Braves' turn to jump out fast, building an seven-point lead in the first six minutes of the period. But the Boll Weevils came right back, tying the game at 59 with 6:07 left in the game. That final six minutes of the contest was no offensive explosion, as the teams scored four points apiece in that span to send the game into overtime. The Braves had a chance to win it in regulation, but the UAM defense allowed Madry no shot. In the overtime period, it was all West Georgia, as the Braves allowed no field goals in the extra time to claim a 70-66 victory. Majestic Mapp buried two free-throws with 8.7 seconds left to secure the win. Madry's 27 led the way for West Georgia on the afternoon, followed by Mapp's 19. Tamal Forchion was the only other Brave in double figures with 12. The Braves move to 23-5 on the season and play the West top seed Delta State tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. The game can be heard on B92.1 in Carrollton and on the internet at www.uwgbraves.com.
Miller earns Conference Player of the Year
Carrollton, GA - March 8, 2005 - In 11 previous seasons under head coach Ed Murphy, the West Georgia Braves basketball program had produced five GSC East Players of the Year. Now, you can add a sixth name to the list. The Gulf South Conference office in Birmingham announced Tuesday that West Georgia's Darnell Miller had been named the GSC East Co-Player of the Year for 2004-05. Miller, a senior from The Bronx, N.Y., shared the honor with Montevallo's Marcus Kennedy in a vote of the division's head coaches. "Darnell is the most competitive player you'd ever want to coach," said an elated Murphy. "He's a great player, and a good student and a good citizen. I'm really happy for him." In the numbers game, Miller's stats stack up impressively. He averages 14.2 points and five rebounds per game. More impressively, he leads all of NCAA Division II in assists with 7.7 per contest. Also, Miller has posted three triple doubles this season, posting double-figure numbers in points, rebounds and assists. That total is one more than the rest of the GSC combined. The Player of the Year honor puts Miller in elite company in West Georgia basketball history. Other Murphy-era players to capture the prize include Tony Bailey (1994), J.J. Sims (1996), Fat Jackson (1997), Lonnie Edwards (1998), and Curtis Pass (1999). Also, former star Anthony Barge captured the honor for West Georgia in 1987. Beyond his Player of the Year honor, Miller also earned a spot on the All-GSC East First Team. Joining him on squad guard is Majestic Mapp, a running mate this season in the Braves' stellar backcourt. Mapp is the Braves' leading scorer on the season, pouring in 18.2 points per game. The native of Harlem, N.Y., is also second on the team in assists with 3.6 per contest. Miller and Mapp were high school teammate at St. Raymond's High in The Bronx. Their selection to the All-GSC East First Team marks the fifth time in the Murphy Era that UWG has placed two players on the squad. This includes last year when Miller and Jonathan James were voted to the team. West Georgia, now 23-6 on the season, returns to action Saturday in the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament. The Braves will face Central Arkansas in a quarterfinal round game at Montevallo, Ala.
Mapp, Miller earn All-Region honors
Carrollton, GA - March 11, 2005 - A high-scoring performer from Harding (Ark.) University leads an impressive group to first team berths on the 2005 Daktronics Division II All-South Region Men's Basketball Team. Topping the all-region team is Matt Hall, a 6-6 sophomore guard from DeQueen, Ark. Hall received the most votes from sports information directors from around the region, thereby earning South Region Player of the Year honors. The GSC West Player of the Year averaged a conference best 21.1 points per game in leading the Bisons to a record of 18-11 on the season. Joining Hall on the first team are two other players from the Gulf South Conference. West Georgia guard Majestic Mapp (6-2, Sr., Harlem, N.Y.) and Montevallo (Ala.) forward Marcus Kennedy (6-4, Soph., Birmingham, Ala.). Both earned first team berths while leading their teams to spots in the NCAA Division II Tournament. Both were named All-GSC East First Team, while Kennedy also captured division co-player of the honors from his conference. Also playing in this weekend's NCAA Division II South Region Tournament is Barry's Nick Ellingsworth-Perez. A 6-6 senior forward from Miami, Fla., Ellingsworth-Perez was this year's Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year, and was All-SSC First Team. The fifth member of the All-South First Team is forward Joseph King of Miles (Ala.). A native of Miami, Fla., King was an All-SIAC First Team selection, and averaged a double-double (19.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg) for the 2004-005 campaign. Members of the 2005 Daktronics Division II All-South Region First Team will receive consideration for All-America honors. Their names will join other All-Region selections on the ballot for the Daktronics All-America Team. Five outstanding players also earned berths on the All-South Region Second Team, including three who will play in the NCAA Division II Tournament. The list includes forwards Justin Wingard of Lynn and James Hall of Montevallo, and guard Darnell Miller of West Georgia. Also earning second team berths were forward A.J. Gordon of North Alabama and Marquise McCullough of Saint Leo. -30-
DAKTRONICS ALL-SOUTH REGION TEAM
FIRST TEAM Student/Athlete School HometownMatt Hall* Harding DeQueen, Arkansas Majestic Mapp West Georgia Harlem, New York Marcus Kennedy Montevallo Birmingham, Alabama Nick Ellingsworth-Perez Barry Miami, Florida Joseph King Miles Miami, Florida * - South Region Player of the Year SECOND TEAMStudent-Athlete School HometownJames Hall Montevallo Tulsa, OklahomaDarnell Miller West Georgia Bronx, New York Justin Wingard Lynn Winter Park, FloridaA.J. Gordon North Alabama Aiken, South CarolinaMarquise McCullough Saint Leo Tampa, Florida
UCAs Grimes ends West Georgias season
Carrollton, Ga. - March 12, 2005 -A great player made a great shot. That's all you can say about West Georgia's 72-69 loss to Central Arkansas Saturday. With less than a second on the clock, UCA's Lamar Grimes hoisted a three-pointer that ended the 2004-05 West Georgia basketball season. The Braves trailed for nearly the entire game, taking their second lead of the game at 66-65 with just over two minutes to play. Darnell Miller hit a free-throw for West Georgia on the back end of a three-point play to give the Braves the lead. With West Georgia leading just minutes later at 71-69, Grimes drove the length of the floor and put up a runner in the lane. He missed, but Nedzad Biberovic followed the shot with a tip-in to tie the contest at 71, setting up the final minute drama. Miller and the Braves brought the ball up the floor and Miller worked it inside, but an errant pass went out of bounds with eight seconds left on the clock. Grimes raced up the floor, and with two seconds left, put up a shot that found the bottom of the net with .5 seconds left on the clock. Miller led the Braves' effort on the afternoon with 21 points, 11 coming in the second half alone. The Braves finish the season with a 23-7 record.