Free Throws Sink Flames

Friday, February 07, 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.

Notre Dame Sweeps GPS In Volleyball

Notre Dame volleyball coach Ted Hackett  wasn't real sure how well his team would play on Monday evening against non-district rival GPS, but he seemed pretty happy following the 2-0 win over the Bruisers in a match that took just over 35 minutes. The first set wasn't close as Notre Dame broke from a 13-13 tie to win by 25-13 as senior Mallory Hein recorded the last 12 service ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Time To Weigh In

After several weeks of reading and hearing about spousal abuse, child abuse and other atrocities in the sports world, it's finally time for me to weigh in. Neither spousal abuse nor child abuse should ever be considered a racial problem. It is a problem in our society; one that we have been dealing with for years. I wanted to state that fact first before going any further. The video ... (click for more)

Erlanger Finishes Fiscal Year With $18 Million Profit

After a major loss the year before, Erlanger Health System finished the fiscal year with an $18 million profit, officials announced Monday night. It was well ahead of the $2 million gain that Erlanger had budgeted for, and far better than last year's $8 million loss. The profit was boosted by a first-time $19,587,000 from a Public Hospital Supplemental payment and essential ... (click for more)

Chancellor Rules That IDB Must Reimburse Attorney Fees, Other Legal Costs For Helen Burns Sharp On TIF Lawsuit

Chancellor Pam Fleenor has ruled that Helen Burns Sharp, who sued over the validity of a $9 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for a planned major development on Aetna Mountain, should be reimbursed her discretionary costs as well as her attorney fees. Ms. Sharp said in a recent court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka were $74,427 at the time. The ... (click for more)

ChattaData Is A Real Advance For The City

This past Tuesday, the city of Chattanooga's new performance management tool called ChattaData was unveiled. As the chairman of the City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, I am excited to witness the city putting this important information online in a way that is accessible and transparent to all taxpayers. This approach shines light on how we as a city prioritize our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Apollos Hester’s Way

East View High was trailing at halftime by a pair of touchdowns in last Friday night’s game against unbeaten Vandegrift. But the players at the Georgetown, Texas, school each have a sticker on the back of their helmets that says “TPW” which is a constant reminder that “Tough People Win.” Then there is “attitude” and that is where running back Apollos Hester steps in. In what ... (click for more)