UWG faces Jacksonville State in final tune-up

Carrollton, GA – November 7, 2005 – After splitting a pair of games a week ago, the West Georgia Braves head to the road Tuesday for their final dress rehearsal of the preseason. The Braves travel Tuesday to face Division I Jacksonville State in their last appearance before next week’s season opener.

West Georgia earned plaudits for last week’s solid efforts vs. Division I competition. Wednesday, the Braves pinned a 71-60 defeat on Kennesaw State. Then Saturday, they dropped a decision to Mississippi State, 80-66.

Though West Georgia never led, they did push their Southeastern Conference opponent during Saturday’s second half. The scored was tied on three occasions, including a 57-57 deadlock at the 8:57. From there, the Bulldogs went on a 15-1 run to pull away for the win.

Braves interim head coach Mike Cooney was upbeat about his team’s effort against the bigger Bulldogs. “I’m real proud of our guys. I’m happy with our team. They fought hard and showed composure. When you play teams with SEC athletes, you’re going to see things you just don’t see in our conference.”

Cooney explained that the numbers game is what eventually caught up with the Braves, “In the last nine minutes, we just ran out of players. Mississippi State’s athleticism, size and speed started to overwhelm us. MSU did a great job of exploiting us during the last 10 minutes. They kept rotating guys (into the game), and we just can’t do that.

Guards Sam Richardson and Andrius Petkunas paced West Georgia’s attack with 20 points each, while Chris Burras added 11. Also, Antonio Shaw had a big night on the boards with 14 rebounds.

Burras and Shaw were the big guns in the win over Kennesaw State, scoring 23 and 17, respectively. Also, Burras pulled 12 rebounds vs. the Owls.

After Tuesday’s game, the Braves return to the practice floor to prepare for the November 16th week’s season. UWG welcome Atlanta’s Carver College to town for a 7:30 tip.

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