After losing six of their last seven, the University of West Georgia men’s basketball team has won three straight games; the latest being Thursday’s big win over 14th rank Delta State. After the women’s exciting win in the final seconds, the men did not fail to keep the 1,327 fans in attendance on their heels. The first half of the game was nothing to cheer about when looking at the numbers. The Wolves struggled, only hitting 34 percent of their shots from the field. Deonta Stocks is a proven scorer, however, in the first half Stocks could not find his niche. Delta State’s Willie Readus also struggled to start the game, but due to the Statesmen’s 13 attempts at the free throw line in the first half; they were able to withstand a late rally by the Wolves. Delta State would lead 32-29 going into halftime.
The second half was a show for the ages, and maybe some of the best basketball The Coliseum has ever seen. Deonta Stocks and Willie Readus rambled off a combined 41 points in second half. Back and forth the game went, tough shot after tough shot being made. With 4:04 minutes left in the game and the Statesmen up by two, Readus hit a jumper in the paint to make it a four point lead. Who would respond with 3:40 on the game clock, none other than the man who answered the bell time and time again as the seconds ticked away; Deonta Stocks came back with a jumper of his own to cut the lead back down to a two point spread. On the following possession of Delta State, Stocks comes up with a steal. Coming out of the media timeout, Stocks then finds Phillip Flowers for an open three pointer to take the lead; Wolves now lead 67-66 with 2:57 to play. Crowd is now on its feet and the anticipation begins to mount. Delta State again trades buckets with the Wolves as their star of the night, Willie Readus finds an open Cornel Knight for three; lead now back to two in Statsemen’s favor. Once again, the Wolves answered with another game tying jumper from Stocks at the 2:02 mark. Someone needed to make a stop defensively, it looked as if the last team with the ball would win the game; and then Emory Bernard happened. Bernard stole the ball from Delta State’s Cornel Knight. The following possession resulted in an easy layup for Phillip Flowers, and Wolves now lead by two with just 1:17 to play. Just when you thought that bucket would be the dagger, the Statesman began to play the foul game. Up by two with six seconds to play, Stocks went 1-2 from the free throw line; giving Delta State one more chance at redemption. A missed three point shot by the Statesmen to potentially send the game into overtime would be the difference, final score 76-73 in Wolves favor.