Daniel Ortiz did what he was supposed to do on Saturday afternoon. The UNA sophomore hit 3-pointers. More accurately, he hit a bunch of 3-pointers.
The 6-foot guard from Shreveport, La. hit 10 3-pointers to lead UNA to a 91-78 ASUN Conference victory over visiting North Florida at Flowers Hall.
Ortiz is the seventh player nationally to hit at least 10 3-pointers in a game this season. Two players – Antoine Davis of Detroit Mercy and Michael Moreno of ASUN foe Eastern Kentucky – have hit 11 3-pointers in a game this season. Davis also made 10 in another game. Ortiz now has 70 3-pointers and his hitting 43.8 percent outside the arc for the season. He had a single-game high of seven 3-pointers, set last Saturday in a win over Central Arkansas, this season.
The Lions (13-10 overall, 5-5 ASUN) ran out to a big lead in the first half, largely thanks to seven 3-pointers by Ortiz. The Lions' largest lead was 23 points and they had 44-34 advantage at halftime. UNA maintained control in the second half, despite North Florida's Carter Hendricksen scoring 18 of his 31 points.
UNA won its fourth consecutive ASUN game. Jacari Lane had 12 points and six assists, KJ Johnson had 12 points, six assists and four rebounds and Will Soucie had 11 points. UNA had 20 assists on 34 made baskets. North Florida fell to 8-14 overall and 3-7 in ASUN.
South Alabama 77, Troy 60: South Alabama did a good job in the paint and outrebounded, visiting Troy in a wire-to-wire victory over the Trojans on Saturday at the Mitchell Center. The Jaguars (9-13 overall, 3-7 SBC) outscored Troy, 46-22, in the paint and outrebounded the Trojans, 37-22.
"To score 46 points in the paint, I just don't think that's ever been done to a team of mine," said Troy head coach Scott Cross. "And then to lose the rebounding battle the way we did. Our guys just didn't compete the way they were supposed to. We are going to have to do some soul-searching and get back to work on Monday."
South Alabama actually got things going with a 3-pointer by Owen White. The Jags scored five more points before Troy scored for the first time. By halftime, South Alabama had a 37-25 lead.
The second half was much the same for the Jags. Isaiah Moore had 23 points, seven rebounds and two assists to lead the Jaguars. Tyrell Jones chipped in with 15 points and three assists, Greg Parham II had 13 points and four rebounds and Kevin Samuel added 10 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.
"The guys responded better than they have all year," said South Alabama coach Richie Riley. "It was a team effort. Everybody that stepped foot on the court showed up. That was written on our board, 'show up.' And, if we show up every night, we give everything we have, then we eliminate some of these close losses that come down to the end."
Christyon Eugene had 17 points and three 3-pointers for Troy (13-10 overall, 5-5 Sun Belt).
Tuskegee 51, Miles College 50: Possession of first place in the SIAC West came down to missed free throws and two missed tip attempts in the final four seconds. With that, Tuskegee (17-6 overall, 12-4 SIAC) walks away the road win and sole possession of first place in the SIAC.
A week ago, Tuskegee ran away with a 70-52 win over the Golden Bears. This time it was much more suspenseful.
Tuskegee managed a 31-27 halftime lead behind 14 first-half points by Gregg Boyd. Miles College pulled even quickly and eventually built a 49-44 lead after a 3-pointer by Mykayle Carter with 5:01 left in the game. Tuskegee didn't regain the lead until Devin Booker gave the Golden Tigers a 50-49 lead with 38 seconds left. Boyd hit one of two free throws with 12 seconds left to set up the final sequence.
The Golden Bears' Eddie Smith was fouled with four seconds left. He hit the first free throw and missed the second one. Miles has tip-in attempts by Carter and Corey Trotter, but neither one went down.
UAH led in rebounds (41-28), bench points (13-2), steals (7-5), points in the pain (30-18) and second-chance points (13-7).
West Alabama 67, Shorter 60: The Tigers (17-4 overall, 12-4 GSC) remained in a tie for first place in the Gulf South Conference with the road win over Shorter (3-18 overall, 1-14 GSC).
Justin Allison led West Alabama with 18 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Thaddeus William had 13 points, five rebounds and two steals and Kuran Garner chipped in with 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Mississippi College 75, Montevallo 67: The teams were tied at halftime, but the home-standing Choctaws (11-10 overall, 7-10 GSC) came away with the win. Montevallo falls to 9-12 overall and 7-10 in conference.
Braxton Bertolette and James McNeil each scored 19 points for Montevallo.
Jacksonville State 70, Austin Peay 53: The Gamecocks (10-13 overall, 3-7 ASUN) captured its second consecutive conference win behind 15 points by Demaree King. Austin Peay fell to 8-15 overall and 2-8 in conference.
Maros Zelzinak had a season-high 12 points and five rebounds and moved into a tie for career games played at Jacksonville State with 125.
Wofford women 79, Samford 75: Wofford (15-6 overall, 5-2 SoCon) used the road win to move into a tie with Samford (11-11 overall, 5-2 SoCon) in first place of the Southern Conference women's basketball standings. Wofford hit 10 three-pointers in the first half to build a 45-37 at halftime.
"Our goal was to take away the three early and to give up 10 in the first half against a really good three-point shooting team, it just felt like we started the game down 30," Samford head coach Carley Kuhns said. "But, I'm really proud of this team. I thought we fought back and really responded to changing things defensively."
Samford's Carly Heidger had 23 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Andre Bailey added 16 points, five assists and four steals and Masyn Marchbanks added 15 points and five assists.
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