Lady Hawks (5-4, 1-1 GSC) vs. West Florida (3-7, 0-2 GSC)
Thursday, Jan. 3 • 6 pm • UWF Field House
By James Vallone
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Lady Hawks will look to pick up the second Gulf South Conference victory of the season as they travel to West Florida, with game time set for Thursday at 6 pm.
Shorter (5-4, 1-1 GSC) is coming of a split of game in the St. Leo Classic, winning the game on Day Two versus Ursuline, 58-37. In the game Kristin Nash set a new high for points as a member of the Lady Hawks with a game high 18 points, while Shelby Farrer bested her previous season high by scoring 15 points.
Ursuline was clinging to the 13-12 lead with 9:32 remaining in the first half, when Shorter went on a run to push the halftime lead to 25-18. The Lady Hawks forced 14 Ursuline turnovers in the half.
Nash would score the first six points for the Lady Hawks to start the second half. Ursuline would not score in the games final 6:58 thanks to tough defense forcing bad shooting by the Arrows. Farrer would score six points in the final seven minute to help the Lady Hawks distance themselves from the Arrows.
West Florida (3-7, 0-2 GSC) has not played since December 17, winning at home versus Miles, 94-86. This was the second part of a home and home series between the schools, with each team taking the home victory.
With the game tied 81-81 entering the third overtime period, Jaymie Druding made a pair of free throws to give the Argonauts an 83-81 advantage with 3:09 on the clock. After an Emily Erland layup and a jumper by Hanna Vette, Toynetta Johnson snatched a steal and finished with a layup to put the Argos up 89-81 with 1:40 remaining.
UWF held on for the win 94-86 after going 5-for-6 from the free-throw line the rest of the way. Druding, Vette and Erland each recorded a double-double in the victory. Vette led the way with 26 points and 13 rebounds while going 9-for-10 from the free-throw line. She was ranked ninth in NCAA Division II in the free-throw percentage coming into the weekend and is now shooting .949 percent on the season. Druding recorded 14 points and 11 rebounds for her second consecutive double-double and Erland finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Both of the GSC games the UWF has played this season have been on the road. North Alabama was victorious in Florence, Ala. on November 29, 75-64, while Union won the game in Jackson, Tenn. on December 1, 84-60.
Vette leads the team in scoring at 14.3 points per game, with Johnson (12.4) and Druding (10.8) also in double digits. Johnson has been the most dangerous Argo from behind the arc, having connected on 14 3-pointers this season; she also is leading the team with 3.9 assists per game. Druding is averaging 8.4 rebounds a game, leading the team in averages on both the offensive and defensive glass.
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 women's basketball schedule.