2004-05 Articles Archive: October – Holiday break

West Georgia favored in Men’s Hoops

Braves’ Guard Darnell Miller Named to Preseason All-GSC East Team

Carrollton, GA – October 22, 2004 – High expectations are nothing new for the West Georgia Braves men’s basketball team. More often than not, the Braves are annually tabbed at or near the top in the annual Gulf South Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.

This year is no different.

West Georgia was Thursday named the team to beat for the 2004-05 title in the Gulf South Conference East Division race. The Braves received 44 total points, including three first place votes in the annual balloting of the division’s head coaches. UWG’s total was just ahead of Montevallo and Valdosta State, who tied for second with 42 points.

“We’re always happy to be picked high in the league,” says coach Ed Murphy. “We have a chance to have a good team, and we’re not bothered when other people expect us to be good, too.”

Following the top three teams, GSC East coaches tabbed Alabama-Huntsville for the fourth spot. North Alabama and West Florida finished tied for the fifth in the poll, with West Alabama and Lincoln Memorial.

Despite being the choice of East Division coaches to finish atop the standings, the Braves were not chosen by league coaches to capture the GSC crown. That distinction belonged to Montevallo, which pulled eight-of-17 first place votes. West Georgia and GSC West favorite Henderson State received three votes each. Valdosta State was tabbed by two coaches as the favorite, while the other vote went to Ouachita Baptist.

Beyond the poll, GSC East coaches also voted their choices for the preseason All-GSC East. Not surprisingly, West Georgia’s Darnell Miller was a choice for the team. Miller last year earned All-GSC East First Team and was named to the GSC All-Tournament Team. The senior from Bronx, N.Y., led the league in assists (6.93), and was fifth in the conference in free throw percentage.

West Georgia began preseason last Friday. The Braves show their wares to the public November 2 with a trip to Alabama for an exhibition game vs. Division I Jacksonville State. The regular season begins November 19 in Carrollton as the Braves host Clark-Atlanta.

Men’s Athletic Spotlight:Darnell Miller

Carrollton, Ga. – November 9, 2004 – Seniority holds a higher accolade in the sports world. Put your time in and respect and leadership is yours. The 2004-05 West Georgia men’s basketball team is packed full of seniority, seven seniors to be exact.

But it is Darnell Miller, a senior point guard, who is undoubtedly the leader of this pack. He expects to take these Braves, who are the preseason #1 team in the Gulf South Conference, to a GSC Championship and beyond.

“This is the year for us to go all the way,” Miller said, “we have seven seniors, and key transfers in Majestic (Mapp) and Tamal (Forchion), this team is going to be very deadly this year.”

Miller, who also was named to the Preseason All-Conference team, is ready to run the show for head coach Ed Murphy. The senior led the conference last season in assists with nearly seven per game.

“Coach (Murphy) knows I want the ball in my hands at key points in the game,” Miller shared. “I’m not going to be selfish with it. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get our team the win.”

Not only is this team in sync on the court, but off the court it is hard to find one Braves without the rest.

“Chemistry,” Miller said. “We have chemistry like no other team I have ever been apart of. We are always together, which allows us as a team to grow as one.”

The Braves are returning only five players from last years team, but the last time a Braves team had seven seniors on it was the 1998 team that made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

“Returning five players for most teams would be a problem,” explained Miller. “But we gained Mapp and Forchion who played in the ACC and Atlantic-10. I might be the ‘leader’ on this team, but those two guys bring a part of the game that the rest of us have not seen in a while.”

The Braves were picked #1 in the conference, beating out rivals Valdosta State and Montevallo by two points.

“I want Montevallo,” Miller said, “That is definitely a game that is marked on my calendar, but I learned in high school that take every game one at a time, and never overlook any opponent.”

Miller and his teammates plan on sharing their seniority with every opponent this season by demonstrating how to win.

Braves upend D-I Jacksonville State in exhibition

Jacksonville, Ala. – November 4, 2004 – In the first exhibition game of the 2004-05 season, the West Georgia Braves played comeback ball in a hostile environment, winning 92-89 over the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

The Braves had double-doubles from the George Washington duo of Darnell Miller and Tamal Forchion. Miller, a preseason All-GSC pick, had 25 points and 12 rebounds in the game, while Forchion had 18 points and 10 rebounds, including three mammoth dunks.

With 14:50 to play in the game, the Gamecocks held onto an eight-point lead. Forchion hit a free-throw to kick off the comeback that saw a tie come with just under two minutes to play. Miller buried a three-pointer to tie the game.

Ryan Madry’s four points gave the Braves a four-point lead and Antonio Shaw hit two free-throws with 11 seconds left to seal the win.

Braves open with a win over Clark-Atlanta

Carrollton, GA – November 20, 2004 – The West Georgia Braves opened their new basketball season in impressive fashion here Friday. UWG posted an impressive, 95-52 win over Clark-Atlanta in the season opener for both teams.

Following a sluggish start, the Braves exploded midway in the first half. Leading 12-11 at the under-10:00 media timeout, UWG outscored the Panthers 33-9 over the final 8:53 of the first half.

Leading the explosion for was the duo of Darnell Miller and Tamal Forchion. Miller dished a whopping nine assists, many to Forchion, his former teammate at George Washington. Forchion had a dozen first half points, including eight on four thundering slam dunks.

For the game, Forchion scored 16 to lead the attack in his West Georgia debut. Three other Braves scored in double figures, including 13 from Majestic Mapp, 12 off the bench from Michael McCowan, and 11 from Ryan Madry. Miller ended the night with 11 assists, com pared to only three turnovers. Chris Burras was the top man on the boards with seven.

Now 1-0, the Braves remain home for their next outing. UWG hosts Carver Bible in a Monday evening contest. Tipoff is set for 7:30 in the HPE Building.

West Georgia too much for Carver, 109-74

Carrollton, Ga. – November 22, 2004 – After five minutes Monday night, the outcome between the West Georgia Braves and Carver Cougars was no longer in doubt, as the Braves built an arly 21-4 lead and cruised from there, thumping Carver 109-74.

There was but one lead change in the contest, and that came on a three-pointer from Rob Neal with just 51 seconds gone in the game.

The Braves came out firing quickly, missing two treys from Neal and Majestic Mapp right out of the gate. The Cougars came back down and scored on a layup from Raif Ferguson. Two minutes later, a dunk from Tamal Forchion, his first of five slams on the night, gave the Braves a 10-4 lead and the rout was on.

Senior guard Ryan Madry took the team on his shoulders for the next few minutes, scoring four straight buckets, including three from beyond the arc. His 11 straight gave West Georgia a 21-4 lead that kep growing.

The Cougars took 14 minutes and 28 seconds to get into double digits in scoring as a team, trailing by 30 at 41-11 with 5:32 remaining in the opening period.

The UWG lead reached a peak with just under four minutes to play in the first half after a tip-in from Michael McCowan made the score 47-14.The Braves led 49-20 at the break.

Out of the locker room, Forchion put on an aerial display for the West Georgia faithful, collecting three dunks in the first five minutes of the half.

The win was the Braves’ second of the season after a 94-52 victory last Friday night over Clark-Atlanta. Next up for West Georgia is a trip to Atlanta for the All-Georgia Classic, featuring Georgia College and State University, Columbus State and Morehouse. The Braves face Columbus Friday at 6:00 p.m.

UWG holds off late Columbus charge

Columbus State 84 West Georgia 86

Atlanta, GA – November 26, 2004 – If any member of the West Georgia Braves should feel comfortable at the foul line with the game on the line, it would be Darnell Miller. UWG’s senior point guard found himself in such a situation here Friday, and he responded in typical Miller fashion.

Miller nailed two charity tosses with 3.7 seconds remaining, shots that provided the winning margin in the Braves’ 86-84 win over the Columbus State Cougars in the opening round of the 2004 All-Georgia Classic.

Miller’s heroism was reminiscent of his game-winning heroics in last year GSC Tournament win over Harding. In that one, Miller made a length of the floor dash and was fouled from behind to prevent a layup. He drained both free throws, however, to give the Braves a win.

This time, after Columbus State had tied the game with 12 seconds remaining, no one was surprised to see the Braves’ strategy. The Braves’ floor leader took the ball to the basket, intent on either hitting the game-winner, drawing the foul, or both. He was hacked by CSU center Will Davis, then rattled in the first free throw before calmly knocking down the second for a two-point lead.

Columbus State had one last chance to win it. However, a desperation three point attempt from point guard Charles Adekola fell short to secure UWG’s win.

The Braves’ late game heroics thwarted what had been a furious Columbus State comeback effort. West Georgia led by 14, 77-63, with just 6:24 remaining to play. However, the Cougars went on a run 18-4 over the next five minutes to give themselves a chance to win.

Senior forward Tamal Forchion led the Braves’ attack with 24 points. All of Forchion’s points came in the game’s first 24 minutes as he battled foul trouble down the stretch. Beyond Forchion, Ryan Madry and Majestic Mapp scored 19 each, while Miller added 13 to give the Braves four players in double figures.

Columbus State was led by Yandel Brown with 35 points.

West Georgia is now 3-0 on the season, while Columbus State fell to 1-1. Next on the menu for the Braves is a Saturday night date in Atlanta with Georgia College and State.

West Georgia wins fourth straight

Carrollton, GA – November 27, 2004 – West Georgia exchanged leads with Georgia College and State all night long, but the Braves prevailed on a block from Antonio Shaw as time expired for the fourth straight win this season.

The Braves had five players reach double figures in scoring, led by a double-double from junior Antonio Shaw. His 20 points and 10 rebounds gave him his first doulbe-double as a Brave.

West Georgia led by as much as seven five times in the first half of the contest, but a flurry of buckets in the final minute gave the Bobcats a 45-43 lead heading into the locker room. GCSU scored seven points during that stretch to take the score from a 43-38 UWG lead to the two point advantage at the half.

In the second period, it was Georgia College and State’s turn to hold a seven-point lead, which the Bobcats had twice in the second half. But with the game tied at 68 with 7:14 left in the contest, Ryan Madry’s three-point play gave the Braves a lead the would hold until the 1:06 mark.

Aaron Clark tied the game at 80 at that point, and the teams exchanged possessions in the final minute. But, as in the first night of the All-Georgia Classic, Darnell Miller came up big again late, hitting a layup and drawing a foul with 12 ticks left on the clock. The senior guard drained the free-throw for a three point lead.

With four seconds left, GCSU’s Ronnie Dennis pulled up for a three-pointer to tie the game, but was rejected by Shaw to seal the win.

Majestic Mapp and Madry both had 18 points on the evening, followed by 14 from Miller. Tamal Forchion was the other Brave in double figures with 10.

West Georgia is now 4-0 on the season with Fort Valley State coming to Carrollton Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.

Braves improve to 5-0 against Fort Valley

Carrollton, Ga. – November 30, 2004 – It’s the season of giving, and the West Georgia Braves were in the mood Tuesday night, delivering a 93-73 whomping to visiting Fort Valley State.

For 17 minutes of the contest, FVSU held close with the Braves, tying the game at 26 with just over three minutes left in the first half. But the Braves went on a 14-2 run to close the half and continued with a 19-5 run to open the second, leaving a stunned Fort Valley behind in the dust.

In the spirit of giving, Darnell Miller kept up his assist average with nine on the night. He and forward Tamal Forchion hooked up several times on the evening as Forchion led the Braves with 19 points and eight rebounds.

Four other Braves joined the senior in double figures on the game. Antonio Shaw netted 16 points, followed by Majestic Mapp with 17, Ryan Madry with 10 and Chris Burras with 10.

The Braves contined to rule the offensive boards as they have all season, collecting 21 on the night. Things were clicking on the offensive side of the ball all game, as UWG shot 47 percent from the field as well.

The win improves West Georgia’s record to 5-0 on the season with Augusta State coming to Carrollton Thursday night. Fort Valley State falls to 0-3 on the year.

Men’s Athletic Spotlight: Rob Neal

Carrollton, Ga. – December 3, 2004 – No sports team in the history of sports has ever gone un-compared to a previous team. People have to measure their current team to previous teams, especially if it resembles a team from the past. This year’s West Georgia Braves men’s basketball squad is no exception.

Four years ago the Braves won the Gulf South Conference, and made it the way to the Elite Eight. That team had seven seniors, a strong back court, a good bench, and loved to put on a show. This year’s team resembles that Elite Eight team in every way minus all but one player.

Senior guard/forward Rob Neal is the last remaining member of that team. “The players have changed,“ Neal shared, “but the type of player is the same, and the competition in Gulf South Conference has become a lot harder since the Elite Eight Year.”

Neal only practiced with the team after failing to take enough class hours, because he didn’t think he was going to be part of the team. Neal knows this year is going to be special, though for him it is extra special.

The Lafayette (pronounced La-FAY-it)native is returning for his second senior season, after head coach Ed Murphy and the staff were able to get a medical hardship appeal approved by the NCAA last year.

“I am so excited to be back, again,” Neal said, “I am really glad the appeal went through, because I did not want my last game I played being a loss in the conference championship.”

Neal is the leading scorer returning from last year’s team, and one of the most dangerous three-point threats in the conference.

Through the first five games Neal is off to a slow start, but that is do in part to off-season knee surgery.

“I’m still getting comfortable out there,” Neal shared, “I’m not supposed to be 100% till January, but I also start off slow every year. They say it is all in the head of shooters.”

Neal stats so far this season are down from last year: 5.5 points per game, 18 minutes per game, 38 percnet from the field. But the treys are still coming, as he is hitting at a 41 percent clip from beyond the arc.

“I am not really concerned with my numbers,” Neal explained, “As long as we win I could care less. I know my touch will come, and being that sixth man is fine, because I seem to do better coming in the game five minutes into it.”

Neal’s slow start might have gone unnoticed so far, since the Braves have destroyed most of their opponents this season. Cupcake teams are what some people would call them, but wins are wins.

“Last year we really didn’t have any cupcakes on our schedule,” Neal said, “We won 20 games and didn’t get to the regional tournament while Montevallo and Valdosta had the easy opponents and still got there.”

Each game builds a team and prepares a team for upcoming games. Neal and his teammates are preparing themselves for a tough conference schedule.

“Our first home conference game is Montevallo,” Neal explained, “Darnell (Miller) said that game is marked on his calendar, well it is on mine as well, and so is VSU and Clayton State.”

“I came back for a championship,” Neal shared, “and I would love to actually play on an Elite Eight team, but a national championship team would be even better.”

Neal and the rest of the Braves want to leave a mark on this program that will be having them being the ones that people compare themselves too.

Defense shines in win over Augusta State

Carrollton, Ga. – November 29, 2004 –A challenge is sometimes all a good team needs to show what it truly can do. That’s what West Georgia head coach Ed Murphy gave his team Wednesday at practice, a challenge. The Braves responded by allowing just 25 percent shooting from Augusta State in the first half Thursday night en route to an 83-52 shellacking of the Jaguars.

“I told them at practice that I didn’t care if it was just one time down the court, if I saw any of them lagging on defense, I was pulling them out of the game,” said Murphy. “They responded very well and played tremendous defense tonight.”

No one could question the offensive firepower of the 2004-05 Braves, averaging a lofty 93 points per game. But opponents were averaging 72.6 points per game going into Thursday, a number that West Georgia needed to improve on.

The response to coach Murphy’s challenge was solid, as the Braves came out and built a 6-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game. Chris Burras and Tamal Forchion had four and two points, respectively in that span.

“Chris Burras was playing a great ballgame, especially in the first half,” Murphy said. “He wasn’t as effective after twisting his ankle, but I was proud of his improvement.”

The West Georgia defensive effort continued, with UWG building a 19-point lead in the first half, and led 37-20 at the break.

Ryan Madry was on fire in the first period, scoring 11 points in the opening frame, including three 3-pointers in the half. Darnell Miller was his usual self, dishing out six assists in the first half. Miller’s assists gave the offense a chance to shine, as the Braves shot a blistering 56 percent from the field in the first half.

The first four minutes of the second half were the Miller show, as the senior scored the Braves’ first eight points of the half. The Jags made a run at that point, pulling to within 14 at 46-32 with just under 15 minutes to play in the contest.

But that was as close as Augusta State would get in the second half as West Georgia continued to pour on the pressure on both sides of the court, building as much as a 31-point lead twice in the period. The second time was on a Sheldon Harris layup as the horn sounded to complete the blowout 83-52.

Three Braves scored in double figures on the night, led by Madry with 17 points and six rebounds. Miller followed with 14 points and Burras had 10 in just 15 minutes of action.

The Braves are now 6-0 for the first time since 1996-97 and just the second time in the Ed Murphy era. Next up for West Georgia is a trip to Morrow for the annual matchup with Clayton State this Tuesday night. Game time is at 7:30 p.m.

The Thriller in Morrow

Morrow, Ga. – December 7, 2004 – It’s been different people stepping up every game of the West Georgia Braves’ winning streak. Tuesday night, the Braves got team full of people stepping in a 81-78 overtime win over Clayton State. The win was the Braves’ first in Morrow since the 2001-02 season.

The game winner came via Rob Neal on a three-pointer with 10 seconds left in the overtime period. But it took a Majestic Mapp trey with seven seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime.

The Braves led by as much as seven in the first half. But a flurry of baskets in the last three minutes of the half gave the Lakers a 41-36 halftime lead. In the second period, Clayton built a 10 point lead on the back of B.J. Puckett.

The Braves mounted a comeback with Mapp at the charge, tying the game on a jumper with 2:43 left to play. But the Lakers defended their home turf with vigor, and Rashad Williams hit a three-pointer with 1:28 left to play.

But in the final minute, the Braves cut the lead to three. Mapp, forced to play the point in the absence of an injured Darnell Miller, brought the ball down the court. After a couple of passes, Mapp took a three-pointer that went in and out. In the scrum for the ball, Tamal Forchion came out with it back and found Mapp open beyond the arc again, this time with seven ticks left on the clock. The senior found nothing but the bottom of the net to send the game into overtime.

In the extra period, West Georgia went ice-cold early while the Lakers heated up. Clayton State built a five-point lead with just over 2 1/2 minutes left.

But with 45 seconds left, Antonio Shaw buried a three from the wing to tie the ballgame. The Braves played good defense on the ensuing possession and held CCSU bucketless.

Mapp brought the ball back down the court, and just as before, a couple of passes later found Neal wide open and the senior drained game winning three-pointer.

Mapp was the man on the night, collecting 26 points and shooting 5-of-9 from three-point range. Shaw was also big with 16 points and 11 boards, his second double-double of the season. Neal was perfect on the night, hitting all four of his shots, all from three-point land for 12 points. Forchion added 11 to round out the double-figure Braves.

The Braves are now 7-0, the best start for a West Georgia team since the 1983-84 season. Next up is a date with these same Clayton State Lakers in Carrollton Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. The women are scheduled to play Georgia College and State University at 5:30 p.m. Saturday night as well.

Braves continue rolling with win over Clayton

Carrollton, GA – December 11, 2004 –Ed Murphy has turned out some pretty good basketball teams since taking the helm of West Georgia¹s then-struggling hoops program in 1993. Murphy has guided the Braves to six GSC East titles, six NCAA Tournament bids, and a trip to the 2002 NCAA Division II Elite Eight. However, he has never had a team start a season with eight straight wins.

Until now.

Murphy’s 2004-05 Braves pushed their record to 8-0 here Saturday with a deceptive 76-69 win over Clayton State. Deceptive is an applicable word because the game was nowhere as close as a seven-point margin would suggest. UWG had a 20 point lead when Murphy called off the hunt late in the game. Clayton State then scored a plethora of oh-by-the-way points against a collection of West Georgia walk ons, making it appear that the margin was in doubt. It wasn’t.

The win was UWG’s second this week over Clayton State (3-7), and the second straight without the services of Darnell Miller. The Braves’ senior All-America candidate point guard sat out the game as he continues to recover from a foot injury suffered in the December 2 win over Augusta State.

Majestic Mapp led a quartet of double figure scorers, tossing in 18 points. Tamal Forchion added 13, while Antonio Shaw contributed 11 and Ryan Murphy contributed 10. Chris Burras was the top man on the boards with 13, while Mapp dished six assists.

Craig Butts scored 15 and added 12 rebounds for Clayton State. B.J. Puckett added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

West Georgia returns to action Friday in the Fighting Owls Classic at Kennesaw State. The Braves face Tusculum (Tenn.) in a 6:00 p.m. contest. Saturday, it’s West Georgia vs. Wingate (N.C.) at 2:00 p.m. in the final game before the team’s holiday break.

Braves make it nine straight in Miller’s return

Carrollton, Ga. – December 17, 2004 – It’s scary how good this West Georgia team can be considering they have yet to play their best game. The Braves extended their winning streak to nine Friday night with a 83-72 victory over Tusculum in the Fighting Owls Classic.

“They’re (Tusculum) a good team and a hard team to play,” head coach Ed Murphy said. “We were getting the shots we wanted tonight, but just weren’t hitting them.”

Despite a poor shooting effort in the first half from the three-point line where the Braves shot seven percent, UWG led by three at the break and pulled away in the second half for the 11-point victory.

West Georgia jumped out to an 11-point lead in the first 14 minutes of the contest. The lead held until the Braves went cold at the 3:31 mark. At that point, Majestic Mapp hit a three-pointer to put the Braves ahead 30-20 and that would be the last field goal of the half for West Georgia.

Tusculum took advantage of the cold spell, bulling to within three on a jumper from Jordan Lear with just three seconds left in the half. The Braves led 34-31 at the break.

The cold snap continued for the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second half, as a Mapp jumper was the only bucket of that period. But A layup from Tamal Forchion at the 17:04 point started a 17-4 run over the next five minutes that gave the Braves a commanding 57-43 lead.

The roller coaster game continued, as an 18-8 run from the Pioneers cut the lead to four at 65-61 with 7:10 left on the clock.

Next came another West Georgia run that ended with an 11-point lead as time expired and the Braves improved to 9-0 on the season.

Four Braves scored in double figures on the evening, led by Mapp with 19. Ryan Madry followed with 16 and Chris Burras added 12. Forchion was the final Brave in double figures with 10.

In his first game back from a sprained foot, senior guard Darnell Miller had nine points on 3-of-7 shooting and dished out four assists.

The Braves are now 9-0 on the season for the first time since the 13-0 start in the 1980-81 season. Next up is the annual trip to Clayton State’s Holiday Classic on December 28-29. West Georgia will play Johnson C. Smith and Albany State in that Classic.

Men’s Athletic Spotlight: Ryan Madry

Carrollton, Ga. – December 15, 2004 – Family is one of the most important groups of people in ones life. These are the people that know you the best, and you spend a majority of your life with. However, family is also a feeling one has in certain places, and when moving across the country leaving your family behind and all you have ever known to play basketball, that feeling has to be strong felt.

West Georgia senior Ryan Madry is originally from Oakland, California, where he played junior college ball at West Valley JC in his underclassmen years. It didn’t take much for assistant coach Mike Cooney to draw the 6-2 guard to Carrollton.

“I like to play on a team that acts as a family,” Madry said. “West Georgia was a team I wanted to be apart of and I would not have come here if this family like atmosphere wasn’t noticeable.”

The family atmosphere did bring Madry to Carrollton last season and had an instant impact on the team, averaging nine points while creating a mismatch for opposing teams. At 6-2, Madry’s thick build and athleticism allows him to match up with an opponent’s small forward.

With shooting specialist Rob Neal still recovering from off-season knee surgery and point guard Darnell Miller out temporarily with a foot injury, Madry has had to step into several different roles this season. He gives Majestic Mapp a chance to rest for several minutes each game by running the point and has been deadly from beyond the arc.

“I have seen a lot more and better looks,” Madry shared. “we have a trio of guards that rotate the ball better than most teams. Our ball movement is what allows me to get so many good shots off.” The Braves have three players who have at least 10 three-pointers this season, Madry has hit 11 at a 32 percent clip. He is also the strongest at the free-throw line, hitting 33-of-39 from the charity stripe thus far. His best game was against Columbus State, where he hit for 19 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Madry averaged just under nine points a game last season, and through eight games this season he is putting up 13.5 a game. Madry is also a terror on defense. He never loses his man and his voice is all ways heard.

“I was taught to play hard, give it all I have,” Madry explained. “Stick to your man, let your teammates know when screens are coming, and figuring out opponents plays are part of how I was taught how play defense.”

Madry was part of a successful team last season that came up short in the Gulf South Conference championship game against Montevallo. He along with most of his teammates are eager for a rematch.

“Montevallo is definitely a game I have marked on my calendar,” Madry said. “Every game is important, but it is our first home conference game.” “This year we are going to finish what we let slip away last year,” Madry explained. “Our chemistry is unbelievable. We had a lot of transfers, but being a senior filled team, our chemistry is simply amazing, and I think it is because we have a team that understands what it takes to win.”

“Majestic, Tamal Forchion, Antonio Shaw, and Chris Burras are transfers that teammates dream of,” Madry shared. “Without them it would be hard for me to believe that we would be undefeated, especially with Michael out and Rob not yet 100 percent.”

And winning is what this team has done thus far. Sitting at 8-0 entering the Christmas break, the Braves will spend a good bit of the holidays playing in tournaments, but Madry is quite satisfied with the family he will be traveling with these holidays.

Mapp earns GSC weekly honors

Carrollton, GA – December 21, 2005 – Big performances a week ago have translated into honors for a pair of West Georgia Braves basketball stars. Women’s star Tai Ellis and men’s sharpshooter Majestic Mapp were Tuesday named Gulf South Conference East Division Players of the Week for their respective genders. Both had huge numbers that led to their honors.

For Ellis, her honors came with one mega-performance: a 38-point, 10-rebound effort in Friday¹s 74-69 win at Clayton State. Her efforts were instrumental in UWG erasing an early, 19-5 deficit. Also, the win avenged a 79-59 home loss to Clayton State on November 27.

Ellis’ offensive explosion was the most impressive for a West Georgia player in over a decade. Her 38 points marked the most in a single game for a Braves player since Gina Flowers drained 52 in a game vs. Miles during the 1991-92 season.

The award for Ellis was the second of the season for the Braves’ women.

Offensive explosion extends unbeaten streak to 10

Carrollton, Ga. – December 18, 2004 – It was time to open up the floodgates Saturday afternoon when the West Georgia Braves clashed with the Wingate Bulldogs. The two teams combined for nearly 30 three pointers en route to a 108-91 victory for the Braves, West Georgia’s tenth in a row.

“Shooting the three isn’t that tough for guys like Ryan Madry, Majestic Mapp and Rob Neal, especially when they zone us,” said head coach Ed Murphy. “We just got wide open, point-blank range shots and knoocked them down. But I do want to say that our defense against their three was great, and that was one of the biggest differences in this game.”

The Braves got 32 points from Majestic Mapp, including 24 points on threes. Darnell Miller and Chris Burras added a double-double to lead UWG. Miller hit for 14 points and had 16 assists while Burras had 13 points and 13 rebounds. The 16 assists from Miller are a modern-day West Georgia record. The most ever came from Clarence Walker, who had 21 in a single game in 1974.

The game was an explosion from the start, with the Braves building an 11-point, 63-52 halftime lead. West Georgia shot nearly 70 percent from the field in the first half.

The second half was more of the same, with Wingate making two runs to try and pull even with the Braves. But each time the Bulldogs would get close, Madry, Mapp or Neal would knock down a trey to pump the lead back up.

On the game, West Georgia had five players in double figures. Tamal Forchion added 12 and Neal knocked in 11 on the afternoon.

The Braves are off for 10 days before coming back at the Clayton State Holiday Classic on December 28 and 29.

Scroll to Top