For the first time this season, the Lee University men’s basketball team lost a game falling to the University of Alabama in Huntsville 84-73 on Friday night. With the loss the Flames fell to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in GSC play while UAH improves to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in GSC contest. In a back-and-forth contest that featured six ties and seven lead changes, the Chargers hit their free throws and made some late shots to pull ahead and earn the win.
Tommy Murr, grandson of former Tennessee Temple great Bobby Murr, had 16 points for UAH. For old timers, the game hearkened back to the Temple-Lee battles of the 1970s.
The Flames made the three-point shots early making their first three and jumped out to a 9-2 lead. UAH came right back and tied the game at 9-9. Lee answered right back behind the play of JJ Barnes. The graduate student had ten points in the first nine minutes of the contest as the lead bloomed out to 30-17 for the Flames.
UAH did not go away though and dialed up the defensive pressure. They forced Lee to be in a three and half minute drought and tied the game up at 34-34. Makhi McGuire hit a three pointer right before the halftime break to give Lee the 37-35 lead. In the first half, the Flames were 6-for-10 from long range.
UAH came out very aggressively in the second half and immediately began to hit shots. They took their first lead of the contest with 17:38 left at 40-38. McGuire answered right back with a three-pointer to give the Flames the 41-40 advantage. After that the score tied three time tied three time in the next five minutes before a three-point shot by Tanner Shulman gave UAH the lead for good.
UAH led by as many as 13 in the game and never let the deficit for the Flames get below six. They took advantage of 25 fouls committed by Lee to shoot 27-for37 from the free throw line in the contest. The Flames were just 10-for-16 from the free throw line in the loss.
Barnes had a career high 18 points in the loss. Beyuan Hendricks added 14 points, McGuire had 12 as well. For UAH, Daniel Sayler had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while Jack Kostel had 17 points.
The Flames will look to rebound on Sunday, December 10 at 4 PM as they will host the University of West Alabama. Mayfield Dairy will provide free ice cream sandwiches to those in attendance.
Coach Bubba Smith said, “UAH did a good job defensively tonight with their zone. They forced us to take a lot of perimeter shots and we didn’t make enough to beat them. They were the tougher team tonight they beat us on the boards and to more 50-50 balls. In games like these there are a fine line between winning a losing.”
“I always feel like your team grows more in these moments. When you hit some adversity for the first time, there is more room to grow. Now the challenge is to turn around quickly, respond and get ready for West Alabama.”