February 6, 2023

The wins for the University of West Florida women’s basketball team continue to roll.

Behind double-doubles second forward Zoe Piller and graduating forward Jaclyn Jarnot, the Argos extended their best winning streak of the season to nine games after beating West Georgia 71-57 at the UWF Field House on Wednesday.

Piller finished the night with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds. Jarnot added 18 points and 10 boards.

This was the team’s sixth double-digit win at the circuit. It was also West Florida’s second win of the season over Wolves, having previously beaten UWG 77-49 on December 4.

In the Road Blowout, the Argos won the third quarter 24-10. This time, the crucial moment came just before halftime, when the home side ended the second quarter with a 12-4 run.

“We kept running, pushed the ball and got some switching opportunities in the second quarter,” said UWF head coach Stephanie Lawrence Yelton. “We hit some open shots around the perimeter and played some really great defense.

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28-27 with 4 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first half, the Argos started their run when Jaden Langford passed the ball to Maddie Griffon for a shot in the colour. After a miss on the other end, the hosts extended their lead to a 3-pointer in the transition from Haylee Luttrell.

After a timeout by Wolves, Jarnot Peace took out Okeke on a drive before converting a basket inside at the other end. Both teams traded baskets until Landford threw in a layup to give West Florida a 40-31 lead at halftime.

UWF extended their lead to 57-43 by the end of the third quarter and built a cushion of up to 19 points in the second half.

Okeke outpaced the guests with 21 points. Luttrell hit five 3-point shots en route to a 17-point performance. Langford was limited to five points, but she snagged eight rebounds, racked up seven assists and was the game’s best plus-19 on floor.

“Jaden shared the ball, her assists are way up at the moment. She’s extremely good at rebounding the ball,” Yelton said. “She’s tasked with being the better winger in most opposing teams, so she’s our defensive anchor. But I think for her she also brings us that she can help us break the pressure and start the quick break without our point guards having to handle the ball, she can rebound and feed the post and make inside passes.

West Florida improved its record to 14-5 overall, including a 14-3 mark against Gulf South Conference opponents. The team is currently third in GSC standings, trailing only Lee (16-3, 14-1 GSC) and Valdosta State (15-3, 14-2 GSC).

This story will be updated.

Patrick Bernadeau is a sports reporter for the Pensacola News Journal. He can be reached at (850) 503-3828 or [email protected]

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