UWA gets first DI win in 33 years

rp_primary_MBB_13-11-27_220TOWSON, Md. – West Alabama men’s basketball finished with a season high of 30-for-33 from the free-throw line to knock off Division I opponent Abilene Christian 77-67 in the Battle 4 Atlantis Mainland tournament on Friday.

West Alabama improves to 2-2 and clinches its first win over a Division I team since its 68-60 win over Samford on Nov. 28, 1980. Abilene Christian falls to 2-7.

“Our chemistry is definitely getting better,” said UWA head men’s basketball coach Mark Downey.

“Guys are sharing the ball and getting to the basket. I’m proud of them. It’s great to see them play like that. We still need to get more out of our guys on the bench, but overall a really good effort tonight.

“If you count our exhibition games, we’ve lost four straight and we needed something positive to happen. I get on them pretty hard, but we always try to keep it positive. Hopefully we can build off this with three more games before conference action starts.”

Aaron Cobb (8-for-8), Desmond Raymond, Jarell Byrd (4-for-4) and Demetrius Powe (2-for-2) were all perfect from the free-throw line. Byrd posted the team’s first double-double with 15 points and 10 total rebounds.

Sandy Underwood led the Tigers in scoring for the fourth time this season with 21 points, shooting 10-for-13 from the free-throw line.

Harrison Hawkins led the Wildcats with 21 points, while teammate Parker Wentz followed with 15 points shooting 5-for-10 from the three-point line.

The Tigers will continue in the tournament with The Citadel. The game is set for 2:30 p.m. (C.S.T.) in SECU Arena on the campus of Towson University.