Hawks 14-5 (GSC 8-3) vs. West Florida Argos 9-10 (GSC 4-7)
Thursday February 7 • 8 pm • Winthrop-King Centre
By Daniel Bannach
ROME -- The Shorter Hawks are rested after a dominant performance over West Georgia, cruising past the instate Gulf South Conference rival by 24 points, 85-61. The Hawks versus the West Florida Argos matchup is an opportunity for the Hawks to avenge the second of three GSC losses this season. The Argos managed the first game victory by defeating the Hawks at home in Pensacola, Fla., by one point on January 3.
The Argos were able to control the ball and keep it from the Hawks most of the game. Shorter held only two leads the entire game; once in each half. The score was not in the Hawks favor until Anthony Banks hit a free throw with 2:51 left to play. The Hawks and Argos go back and forth until Lendward Griffin scored two with 1:28; the Hawks were unable to make another basket and lost 68-67. The Argos capitalized on takeaways with points; they shot less but made more, and out-rebounded the Hawks. Walter Hill played a great game; he had more points than anyone else the court that night with 22. Banks put up 16 points and took down 14 rebounds. Terrance Beasley had 16 points with seven rebounds, Jason Laatsch had 15 points, Sean Voss and Ellis Young both had 12 points for the Argos.
Since Shorter lost their first battle to West Florida, the Hawks found good rhythm and have won seven of their last eight games. The Argos have had a rough stretch lately since the game in early January, they have lost six of the last eight. The Argos have a strong team, having the best field goal percentage (47 percent) of any GSC team. Ellis Young is the team leader; he carries an 18 point-per-game average. West Florida's most recent win came Saturday over the Union Bulldogs 63-62.
The Hawks have been led by the consistency in senior leaders Banks and Hill, while Dedric Ware has risen as a young talent. Banks is Top Five in GSC rebounding and Top Ten in GSC Scoring.
Fans unable to make the game can follow the live stats by clicking on this link. Fans can also catch all the live action by tuning into 95.7 WATG-FM The Ridge or by accessing the audio link located on the men's basketball schedule.