Blossoms triumph; men fall

Unless it’s the University of Connecticut or maybe the University of Tennessee, women’s basketball generally takes a back seat to men’s basketball at colleges across the country. If the teams play on the same night, the women’s game leads off followed by the men’s game.
With the record-breaking season enjoyed by the Boll Weevils last winter—and all but one member of that team returning—that surely has been the case recently at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
Saturday, though, the Cotton Blossoms won big while the Weevils dropped the third contest of the season. The UAM women blasted Southern University at New Orleans 85-67 before the Weevils’ frantic comeback came up short againat the undefeated University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
Both games were played in Steelman Field House and capped the teams’ 2017 schedule.  
The UAM men, still one of the favorites to win the Great American Conference, fell to 7-3 overall while the Blossoms improved to 5-4. For both teams, Saturday’s outings were the last non-conference contests of the winter.
Eighteen GAC games remain for both the Blossoms and Weevils, beginning with this weekend’s longest trip of the year. UAM plays Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Okla Thursday and Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Okla on Saturday. Thursday’s tip off times are 5:30 p.m. for the women and 7:30 p.m. for the men; Saturday’s games will begin at 1 and 3 p.m.
For those fans unable to make the some 8.5-hour trek to far western Oklahoma, KHBM FM 93.7 will broadcast the games—and all remaining games for both squads. As always, uamsports.com will offer live feeds, both audio and video, as well as up-to-the second statistics.
Saturday, head women’s coach Tanya Ray saw junior newcomer Charlynn Perry send the Blossoms into the new year with a career-high 29 points on nine made three-point shots.  Senior Taylor Collins added 16 points to the Blossom cause.
UAM began on a 14-3 run and capped off the first 10 minutes with a 25-9 advantage. That was more than enough to withstand a SUNO comeback before intermission, thanks to the Blossoms netting six three-pointers before halftime.
The Blossoms regained its momentum in the third quarter as UAM went built a double-digit lead and finished its visitors off with a 14-5 run to open up the fourth period.
In the men’s game,  four Weevils scored in double figures, led by senior Derylton Hill’s 22 points. Classmates Karim Mawuenyega, Cobe Goosby and Tyrin Jones also reached the 10-point plateau—but it was not enough to fend off the now 13-0 Lions.
Mawuenyega netted 21 points, Goosby had 18 (and 11 assists, making him the first Weevil in 2017-18 to record a double-double) and Jones chipped in with 14.
Following a 50-37 UAFS lead at halftime, UAM got its deficit down to as little as one point with 1:20 remaining in the game but the Lions would not be denied.

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