Free Throws Sink Flames

Friday, February 7, 2014
Brice Sharp works against North Alabama's Devin McNeil on Thursday night in Walker Arena.
Brice Sharp works against North Alabama's Devin McNeil on Thursday night in Walker Arena.
- photo by Lee University
University of North Alabama went to the free-throw line for what had to be a record 49 times and converted 36 (74 percent) in an 87-78 victory over the Lee Flames in a Thursday evening Gulf South Conference contest in Walker Arena.

The game featured 47 fouls being called, 26 against Lee and 21 against the visitors. Turnovers also proved costly to coach Tommy Brown's club.
Nineteen miscues were chalked up by the Flames, while the Lions had only five floor mistakes the entire night.

The contest was deadlocked at the half, 40-40. After a nip and tuck battle for the first 12 minutes of the second half, North Alabama finally moved out to a 10-point advantage with only 2:28 remaining. Nathan Spehr sank key freebies late and recorded 10-of-10 attempts from the line for the game. He finished with a game-high 20 points.

"We could not get the rebounds and loose balls in the final six or seven minutes." said Brown. "There is no way you can foul their guards and win, but that is what they forced us to do in the final minutes. I just can't believe we committed that many fouls."

The Flames shot plenty well enough to win, making 24-of-47 field goal attempts (51 percent) and hitting 26-of-31 free throws. Cory Billingsley was awarded 12 free shots and canned 11. He finished with 18 points.

Tyquan Roberts enjoyed maybe his best effort of the year inside, making 8-of-12 of his field goal attempts and tallying 18 points to tie Lee's Billingsley in the scoring department. Freshman Jamal Worthington, who powered down a tremendous dunk, tallied 14 points.

For the game, the Flames won the battle of the boards, 39-33, but it was not enough to overcome the 10-point margin the Lions enjoyed at the line and Lee's turnover problems. UNA totaled 24 points off turnovers to just three for Lee. They also outscored the Flames 16-6 on second-chance points.

Brice Sharp grabbed eight rebounds to go along with six points. Chad Lee followed with six boards and Stedmon Ford added five.

Lee's defense held North Alabama to 37 percent shooting from the field and 27 percent (7-of-26) from behind the arc. Marquel Darrington finished with 17 points and seven rebounds in the win. Rashaun Claiborne came on strong late and carded 12 points and seven boards. All five Lion starters scored in double figures.

The Flames (7-11, 3-9) will return to Walker Arena on Saturday and host Union University in a 4 p.m. start. It will be the second game of a doubleheader, featuring Hoops 4 Hope.

North Alabama, picked to win the GSC, improved to 13-8 overall and 7-6 in league play.

Bud Selig And John Schuerholz Selected To MLB Hall Of Fame

Former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and longtime executive John Schuerholz became the newest members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame after being elected on Sunday to the museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. Major League Baseball's ninth Commissioner and the current president of the Atlanta Braves were among 10 baseball greats -- five players, two managers and three ... (click for more)

Baylor Defeats Lady Vols, 88-66

Redshirt junior Mercedes Russell scored a season-high 22 points in No. 22/25 Tennessee's 88-66 loss to No. 4 Baylor on Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena. Russell added 12 rebounds and four blocks en route to her fifth double-double of the season and 16th of her career. Junior Jaime Nared recorded her fourth consecutive double-double with 19 points and a career-high tying 11 rebounds. ... (click for more)

East Ridge Meth Dealer Gets 168 Months In Federal Prison

A man who agents said was dealing large quantities of meth from his East Ridge residence has been sentenced to serve 168 months in federal prison. Kenneth Lemons appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Agents said they made several controlled drug buys from Lemons at his residence in 2015. On Oct. 27, 2015, he drove up to a residence where DEA agents were making a controlled ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man With 5 Violent Felonies Gets 30 Years In Prison

A Chattanooga man with five violent felonies on his record has been sentenced to serve 30 years in prison. Demetrius Joiner, 30, was given a 20-year sentence by Judge Curtis Collier after he was ruled to be an Armed Career Criminal. Judge Collier said the term would be consecutive to several state sentences imposed earlier on Joiner, including 10 years for aggravated robbery. ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Can’t Wait

It took the Hamilton County School board nine months before the group hired a search firm to find a new superintendent. But you mark my words – the Department of Education will undoubtedly implode if our leaders wait another nine months simply hoping for some type of mystical salvation. In the last week Signal Mountain leaders have all but given notice they will form their own district ... (click for more)