Sunday afternoon in the Pete Hanna Center at Samford University, the University of Alabama in Huntsville's basketball team took on Delta State in the Gulf South Conference Championship game. A furious late push came up just short for the Chargers as they dropped a 64-60 decision to Delta State.
"Obviously proud of the year we've had, disappointed we couldn't pull it out for the seniors, you know, they deserve it more than anyone, so kind of mixed emotions there," redshirt sophomore Seth Swalve said.
The Statesmen went ahead by ten points with just 2:34 remaining in the contest, but the Chargers used a strong defensive effort to force a pair of turnovers while scoring six straight to cut their deficit to just four less than a minute later.
After a Delta State bucket ended UAH's run, Seth Swalve had an immediate answer and scored two of his team-leading 13 points. All this before forcing another Statesmen turnover which Swalve scored again to pull within two at 57-55 with just under a minute left.
"That's just the character of our kids. They've been amazing since the first practice we had, even since last year they've been awesome," Head Coach Lennie Acuff said.
The Statesmen then scored the next four points and allowed UAH to pull no closer than three in the final minutes of the game.
"I mean they played great, they played really, really well," Coach Acuff said.
Swalve's 13 points were matched by Grissom grad JJ Kaplan who earned a place on the all-tournament team after he recorded his seventh double-double of the season with the 13 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
Max Shulman rounded out UAH's double-figure scorers as he knocked down three 3-pointers to score 11.
For the contest, Delta State shot 46.2 percent compared to 40.7 percent for UAH, and the Chargers connected on just 30.8 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
UAH held a 20-10 edge on the glass in a first half that saw the teams deadlocked at 24-24 on the scoreboard, Delta State ended up winning the rebounding margin by a 33-29 margin.
After the game, WAAY 31 spoke with Coach Acuff and Seth Swalve about this loss and this season so far.
"We didn't play well enough to win today, that's the bottom line," Coach Acuff said.
Swalve said it was frustrating to not play their best today especially in the championship game.
The Chargers season is not over yet, they received a bid late Sunday night to the Division II Tournament. UAH is ranked sixth and will take on No. 3 Lynn University on Saturday, March 16 down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.