Box Game 20

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — In a game where they did not play their best and trailed by 7 points in the third period, their largest home deficit of the season, the 11th ranked Walters State Lady Senators simply found a way to win.


Ant’Treasia Patton helped spark a rally for the Lady Senators, as they rallied for a 62-60 victory over Tennessee Community College Athletic Association rival Cleveland State to not only keep their hold on first place in the league but also to extend three long winning streaks in the process.


With the win, the Lady Senators now stand at 20-0 on the season and 9-0 in TCCAA play, as they have now won 93 straight games against TCCAA competition, including 81 in a row in regular season, and their home winning streak is now at 50 games.


The loss dropped the Lady Cougars to 13-4 overall and 7-2 in region play, putting them two games behind WSCC in the standings.


Cleveland State took an early 4-0 lead before the Lady Senators used a bucket by Aspen Jordan and a 3-pointer from Jasmin Neal to claim their first advantage at 5-4. The Lady Cougars responded with 7 straight points to take an 11-5 lead before Walters State answered back once again.


Jordan got an 8-1 run started with a putback basket, and she added another bucket before Destiny Alston and Tasha Magruder both had steals that led to layups on the other end to put the Lady Senators back on top. Cleveland State took the lead at the end of the period, as Sarah Martinez buried a long 3-point shot at the buzzer to make it 15-13.


Leisa Butler opened the second period with a bucket for the Lady Cougars, but Patton sparked a 9-1 run with two jumpers and she later added a 3-pointer to put WSCC up 22-18. Cleveland State bounced right back with 8 straight points to take another 4-point lead, but Patton finished the half with 5 points, including a late triple to put WSCC up 27-26 at the half.


The Lady Senators shot 41.4 percent (12 of 29) in the first half, making 3 of 8 from long range and missing both free throw attempts. Patton tossed in 12 points to lead WSCC in the first 20 minutes.


Cleveland State shot 50 percent (8 of 16) in the half, but they turned the ball over 13 times in the opening two frames. JLynn Majors led the Lady Cougars with 8 points in the half.


Cleveland State jumped back ahead on a 3-point play by Majors to begin the third period, and they eventually led by as much as 7 points at 40-33 after Jaclyn Griffith nailed a 3-pointer from the wing. Much like the first half went, the Lady Senators had an answer, with Kendra Richardson scoring 4 quick points and Alston, Patton, Jordan and Jaleya Mosely each scored in an 11-2 run that put WSCC on top 44-42 after three periods of play.


Patton hit an early 3-pointer in the fourth to give the Lady Senators a 47-44 lead, but the Lady Cougars kept fighting. Cleveland State took a 52-49 lead after Leisa Butler had two buckets, but the seesaw affair continued with another WSCC run.


Magruder, Kentoria Alexander and Patton each scored to put the Lady Senators up 55-52, and they kept the lead around 3 points before Majors hit two free throws with 1:12 left to cut the lead to 59-58. Patton came up big on the next possession, converting a 3-point play with 50.8 seconds left to lift the lead to 62-58.


Butler hit a driving layup for the Lady Cougars to cut the margin in half, and Cleveland State got a rebound and a chance to run towards the bucket for a potential tying or game winning shot before Alexander poked the ball free for a steal to help the home team seal the win.


Walters State shot 41 percent (25 of 61) from the field in the win, making 5 of 13 from 3-point land and 7 of 14 at the charity stripe. Patton tallied 20 points and Alston finished with 10 points and 7 rebounds in the win.


The Lady Cougars finished up shooting 51.3 percent (20 of 39) in the contest, but 24 turnovers leading to 22 points for WSCC spoiled their upset bid. Majors netted 17 points and Butler finished with 16 points in the defeat.


The Lady Senators will return to the hardwood Friday night when they take on TCCAA rival Dyersburg State on the road beginning at 8:30 p.m.