By Matt Green
Hawks (15-10, 9-8 GSC) at #6 Alabama-Huntsville (21-4, 14-3 GSC)
Saturday, March 2 • 8 pm • Huntsville, Ala.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The Shorter University men's basketball program hits the road tomorrow, Saturday, March 2, for a showdown with Gulf South Conference regular season champ and No. 6-ranked University of Alabama in Huntsville in each team's 2012-13 regular season finale. Tip off is scheduled for 8 pm.
The Hawks (15-10, 9-8 GSC) hope to avenge an 80-69 loss to the Chargers suffered back on Jan. 26. Shorter got a game-high 22 points from Kenny Leverette that day, but All-American Walter Hill managed only seven points on seven shots before fouling out in just 14 minutes. The Hawks were also without the services of All-America forward Anthony Banks, who sat out due to an ankle injury.
Shorter has already clinched at least a fifth place finish in the standings, but could guarantee a fourth place league finish with a victory over the Chargers tomorrow night. The Hawks are currently tied with Valdosta State for fourth in the GSC standings and the Blazers, with whom the Hawks split this season, travel to Delta State for their regular season finale tomorrow.
The Hawks are looking to gear up for the upcoming NCCAA Division I South Region Tournament, which begins March 7 in Franklin Springs, Ga., by getting win to end the regular season and help them out of an uncharacteristic late season swoon.
Shorter has dropped five of its last six after a 14-5 start to the season. The Hawks have had to battle the loss of leading scorer C.J. Davis to a season-ending knee injury in December as well as the loss of Banks for five games over the past three weeks.
Shorter lost three of the five games it played without Banks, who has just recently gotten back into game shape having started Shorter's last two games during which he has averaged 20 points and nine rebounds.
The Hawks have four players averaging double figures on the season. Hill leads the way at 15.4 points a game, Banks is averaging 14.7, and Dedric Ware and Leverette are putting up 14.0 and 10.3 points per game, respectively.
The Chargers (21-4, 14-3) locked up their fourth consecutive GSC regular season title with a 70-67 win over North Alabama in Florence on Feb. 23. Alabama-Huntsville is ranked third in the latest region rankings.
UAH is led by reigning GSC Player of the Week Jaime Smith, who had 17 points in the win over Shorter in January and is averaging 17.9 points a game to lead four Chargers averaging double figure scoring.
Fans unable to make the trip to Huntsville can follow the action by tuning in to WATG-FM 95.7 The Ridge or by accessing the live webcast via the link on the Shorter Athletic homepage. Live stats are available here.