By James Vallone
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A big second half for the Bucs handed the Shorter Hawks the 84-69 defeat within Gulf South Conference play.
Dedric Ware got off to a fast start in the first half, converting a lay up three seconds after the tip off and connecting on a 3-pointer after a Brandon Pullman steal to open up a 5-0 lead less than a minute into the game. Ware scored 15 of his team-high 22 in the opening half, including going 3-for-5 from behind the arc.
The Hawks (14-9, 8-7 GSC) led by as much as eight points after Marquise King connected on a 3-pointer of his own to move the score to 28-20 with 6:48 to play.
Christian Brothers (15-7, 10-4 GSC) went on a 12-5 run to enter the intermission down by a single point, 33-32.
CBU scored the first seven points of the second half, and after Ware made a lay up with 15:55 remaining and the score 45-43 in the favor of the home team, the Bucs used an eight minute run to stretch the lead to 63-50.
The Bucs took advantage of 12 personal fouls called against the Hawks to visit the free throw line often in the second half, going 12-for-14 from the line, where the Hawks went 3-for-3 in the second half.
Three other Hawks scored in double digits to join Ware, Kenny Leverette (12), King (14), and Anthony Banks (10) – with King and Banks doing so from the bench. The Hawks bench was able to outscore that of CBU 24-5.
Walter Hill led the team in rebounds with six, followed by five from Pullman. Leverette gave out five assists while Pullman led the team in steals with three.
Christian Brothers had three players reach double digits in points behind Trey Casey scoring the game-high 26 to score one more point than teammate Michael Drake and Drew Hildreth added 12 points. Ryan Fleming was the top rebounder for the game with eight, while Drake had nine assists.
The Hawks connected on 44 percent on 3-pointers, while going 5-for-5 from the free throw line on the night. Shorter was able to capitalize on 14 turnovers from the Bucs to score 21 points. The Hawks also held a 22-0 advantage in fast break points.
Shorter returns to the Winthrop-King Centre for the final home game of the season as GSC rival North Alabama visits on February 21 for an 8 pm start. The Hawks were able to beat the Lions on January 17 on the road, 80-73, behind another big game from Ware.