UAM Makes Wonder Boys Wonder

Courtesy of
Brian Ramsey

tv_sports 10dbRUSSELLVILLE – Despite posting a season-low free throw shooting percentage, the University of Arkansas-Monticello’s men’s basketball team rallied from a seven-point second-half deficit to defeat Great American Conference leader Arkansas Tech 51-50 Thursday night on the road.

   The Boll Weevils (15-8, 10-7 GAC) trailed by seven points four minutes into the second half, but slowly chipped away, getting to within two points on a three-pointer from junior Josh Gibson at the 14:05 mark. Gibson later a nailed a trey to cut ATU’s lead from six points to three points at the 10:01 mark.

   Gibson had a career night, going 5-of-9 from the field, all five made shots coming from beyond the three-point arc. He finished the night as the game leader with a career-high of 16 points. Gibson finalized his scoring with a made free-throw at the 5:24 mark to give UAM the lead for the final time.

   UAM led by as much as six points on a three-pointer from junior Brandon Sims with 1:04 remaining, but that basket was UAM’s final point of the contest. ATU scored five unanswered points to close out the game, including three made free throws from Willie Kirkland to finalize the scoring after being fouled on a three-point attempt with six seconds remaining.

   After jumping out to a six-point lead on a pair of three-pointers from Josh Gibson in the first three minutes of the first half, ATU rallied back to take as much as a five-point lead at the 12:47 mark. Neither team led by more than three points for the rest of the opening period. ATU’s Kirkland made two free throws with three seconds remaining in the first half to give the Wonder Boys (14-9, 11-6 GAC) a 21-18 lead at halftime.

   UAM finished the game shooting 36 percent from the field (19-of-53), 41 percent on three-pointers (9-of-22) and 40 percent on foul shots (4-of-10). ATU shot 35 percent from the field (17-of-48), nine percent on three-pointers (1-of-11) and 88 percent on foul shots (15-of-17).

   In addition to Gibson’s 16 points, Sims also reached double-digits for UAM with 14 points. Jared Williamson led ATU with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.

   The Boll Weevils are back in action this Saturday, Feb. 23 at home against Harding for Senior Day. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. inside Steelman Field House.

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