Henderson upends Braves in Arkansas

Carrollton, Ga. – November 21, 2005 – The West Georgia Braves put themselves in position to win a huge road game against a tough opponent in Henderson State Monday night. But Andrius Petkunas’ basket with three seconds left was called a two-pointer instead of a three, leaving the Braves on the short end of a 50-49 stick in the final game of a three-game road swing.

The game was a defensive struggle the entire night, especially in the first half that saw just 44 points scored between the two teams.

Things were looking good early for West Georgia, as the Braves led by a 16-12 count at the first-half media timeout. But the Reddies came out of that timeout playing inspired basketball while UWG went into an offensive funk. HSU outscored West Georgia 14-2 over the final 9:22 of the first half to take a 26-18 lead into the locker room.

The second half opened with more of the same as the basket seemingly had a lid on it for West Georgia. Henderson took full advantage of the situation, building a 38-28 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining.

But the Braves wouldn’t stay down, and fought back until Petkunas’ first trey of the game pulled UWG to within one at 41-40. After a missed shot by the Reddies, Adam Stanger found Antonio Shaw sprinting downcourt and the resulting dunk gave the Braves a 42-41 lead.

West Georgia led by as much as four over the final four minutes, but the Reddies fought valiently on the home floor, tying the game at 47 with under a minute to play.

HSU set up a play and ran it to perfection, burying a three-pointer with 10.6 left on the clock to set up Petkunas’ shot. The junior got the ball near mid-court and pulled up for what he thought would be the game-tying three. The ball banked in and the referee signaled emphatically that Petkunas’ foot was on the line, ending the Braves’ bid for a four-game winning streak.

Chris Burras led the UWG effort on the evening with 17 points and nine rebounds. Petkunas followed that with 13 points to round out the double-figure scorers on the night.

West Georgia is now 3-1 on the year with the All-Georgia Classic coming up this weekend. The Braves play Columbus State on Friday night a 8:00 p.m. and Georgia College and State University on Saturday at 8:00 p.m.

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