Warhawks Even Season Record with 65-59 Win at Huntingdon | Schools
AUM men's basketball team evened its season record with a 65-59 victory over Huntingdon on Monday. Junior LaRel Jackson scored a season-high 12 points and fellow junior Reshad Bickham added a double-double during the game.
With the win, the Warhawks improved to 9-9 on the season, while the Hawks fell to 5-13 overall.
“I really tip my hat to Mike Pugh’s team,” head coach Larry Chapman said. “I thought they really battled, made winning plays all night and hit the free throws they were given. I think we were fortunate to be able to make some plays late in the game and earn the victory. I appreciate the turnout and the atmosphere here tonight. This was a great thing for local college basketball.”
Joining Jackson in double figures was Bickham and sophomores Quay Davis and Michael Willis with 11 points each. Bickham also added a game-high 11 rebounds.
“I thought LaRel played well for the whole game,” Chapman said. “When Quay got in foul trouble hurt us in regards to our guard play, but really were able to overcome that thanks to a solid effort by LaRel.”
After each team struggled early and played to a 5-5 tie through the opening 4:24, the Warhawks erupted with an offensive outburst during the next 10:02. AUM used a 23-6 run during the span and built a game-high 17-point lead following a lay-up by Willis with 5:34 remaining before halftime. The Warhawks maintained a 14-point advantage, 33-19, with 2:31 remaining, but Huntingdon closed the half by scoring seven of the final eight points and cut the margin to just eight at the intermission, 34-26.
In the opening period, the Warhawks turned six HC turnovers into 11 points and used eight offensive rebounds to generate 13 second-chance points. Jackson scored nine points during the period, all from behind the arc, while the Hawks stayed close in the contest by hitting 11-of-13 free throws.
Huntingdon quickly clawed back into the game with a 9-2 run to open the second half and trim the margin to just one at 36-35 with 17:09 to play. The Hawks rallied and took the lead with 14:07 to play, but a dunk by Bickham gave AUM the lead just 23 seconds later.
Despite three additional ties down the stretch, including as late as 5:29 left in the game, the Warhawks never relinquished the lead again. During the final five-plus minutes, AUM outscored Huntingdon 12-6 to provide the final margin of six points. Davis scored seven points during the span, including a pair of treys.
For the game, the Warhawks converted 36.2 percent from the floor, while the Hawks used a strong second half, nearly 61 percent, to finish 21-of-48 from the field. AUM also matched a season-best with nine 3-pointers on a season-high 29 attempts.
“They zoned us and we had a hard time getting the ball inside to our post players,” Chapman added. ”We had opportunities inside, but just couldn’t get them to fall. Give them a lot of credit for knowing how to play us and that we struggle to make outside shots.”
“We struggled with our shooting tonight and AUM had a lot to do with that. AUM has a really good defensive team,” Huntingdon head coach Mike Pugh said. “But I’m proud of the way we battled, especially late in the first half and the entire second half.
“At halftime, we talked about what we needed to do better and we came out and executed better in the second half. We were patient and we made a good run, but we couldn’t catch them. We just got beat by a good team tonight.”
Hill led Huntingdon with 15 points and nine rebounds. Jeremiah Thomas finished with 11 points and nine rebounds and Jason Varney and Ryan Petty each scored 10 points.
Huntingdon travels to Pensacola Christian on Friday.
The Warhawks will return to action on Thursday, Jan. 31, when they travel to New Orleans, to take on conference foe Loyola. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Source: AUM and Huntingdon College Sports Information Directors