Entering Thursday’s Gulf South Conference men’s basketball with the University of West Florida Argonauts, the Delta State University Statesmen had fallen on hard times.
The Statesmen had lost nine of its last 10 games and had gone from being 7-6 to 8-15. Delta State, however, brought the fight to Argonauts as they won 70-61 here at the Lloyd Clark Court at the Walter Sillers Coliseum. The Statesmen improved to 9-15 overall with a 5-11 mark in the GSC. West Florida fell to 12-12 with a 9-8 mark in the conference.
The Statesmen were down 33-18 with 2:13 left in the first half. Delta State didn’t quit fighting as the team closed out the first half with six unanswered points to make the score 33-24 at halftime.
The Argonauts did get their lead back up to 12 points in the second half, but the Statesmen kept chipping away. The Statesmen ended up leading 68-58 with 57 seconds left to go in the game.
Delta State head coach Mike Nienaber said the win was huge.
“We had a tough month,” Nienaber said. “These guys have hung in there, and I think we’ve kept a good attitude. We try to stay positive from the standpoint of whatever we can do this year, we want to try to accomplish and win games so the seniors can go out on as positive a note as possible. We’re also trying to build for the future.”
The Statesmen had five players reach double figures in points. Airen Brooks scored 16 points with six rebounds; Anderson McCoy scored 14 points with six assists and five rebounds, Maalik Cartwright scored 13 points with 15 rebounds for his fifth consecutive double-double, Keyshaun Street scored 13 points and Michael Motley scored
Nienaber was pleased with the overall play of all of his players.
“We’ve got five guys in double figures which is great,” Nienaber said. “The one guy that played a lot of minutes which wasn’t in double figures was Savv (Savvas Georgiadis), and he was a big part of what we were doing defensively. It was a great win.”
Delta State will be back in action Saturday when they will host Valdosta State University at 4 p.m. at the Lloyd Clark Court at the Walter Sillers Coliseum.