HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State’s Marcus Barham scored 27 points, Xavier Mills added a career-high 19 and the 21st-ranked Wallace State men’s basketball team kicked off a busy week with a 78-69 victory over archrival Shelton State at Tom Drake Coliseum on Monday night.
Wallace State, which has won 10 of its last 12 games, led the entire way. The Lions (18-4, 3-1 Alabama Community College Conference) constructed as much as a 16-point cushion in the second half and ultimately held off a late Shelton State surge.
“We knew Shelton State was going to make a run and get into a groove. They are a good basketball team. We had to rely on some of our returners to understand what the moment was about and make some plays,” said Wallace State coach John Meeks, who’s off to his best start in six seasons with the Lions. “I thought our guys stepped up and made those plays they had to down the stretch. I’m proud we gutted it out.”
Wallace State charged out to a 19-5 lead over the game’s opening 10 minutes, capped by a Barham 3-pointer – one his five 3’s on the night.
Meanwhile, Shelton State didn’t crack double digits on the scoreboard until the 6:11 mark in the first half.
Wallace State extended its lead to 26-12 on Derylton Hill’s 3-point play with 5:40 to go before the half and led 39-29 at the break.
Mills handed the Lions a 49-33 cushion with a layup with 15:46 remaining, and Barham, who scored 20 of his 27 points after the half, pushed it to 61-45 with 9:40 to go.
Shelton State countered with a strong run, outscoring Wallace State 22-11 over the next six minutes and trimming the Lions’ lead to 72-67 with 3:30 left in the game.
With 1:16 remaining, Shelton State’s Andrew Rodgers followed a missed 3-pointer with a slam dunk to cut the Bucs’ deficit to 72-69, but was assessed a technical foul for hanging on the rim.
Barham hit the one free awarded to Wallace State after the technical and drained a 3-pointer from the right wing on Wallace State’s following possession, stretching the lead to 76-69.
Kylen Butler iced the victory for Wallace State with a steal on Shelton State’s ensuing possession.
Hill finished with 10 points for Wallace State, Tyrell Clary had nine points off the bench and Darren Williams pitched in with seven.
Te’Andre Jones led Shelton State (14-7, 3-1 ACCC) in the loss with 21 points. Taboris Griggs scored 10 points, Luke Musslewhite had nine and Rodgers and Jarin Hilson each added seven.
Wallace State continues conference play at home this week with games against Lawson State on Thursday and Snead State on Sunday.
“This is a huge stretch for us. We have to get these home games in the win column before we hit the road in February,” Meeks said.
No. 5 Shelton State 89, Wallace State 61
Wallace State’s Jasmine Hollis finished with a career-high 16 points as the Lady Lions fell at home Monday night to the fifth-ranked Lady Buccaneers.
Kelsey Houston scored nine points for Wallace State (8-14, 0-3 ACCC), Hannah Vest had eight points and Janese Richardson and Velencia Johnson added six apiece.
Shelton State (20-1, 4-0 ACCC) led 14-2 less than four minutes into the game and sustained a 23-17 lead after the first quarter.
Wallace State tied the game at 23-all less than a minute into the second quarter after receiving a layup by Hollis and a 3-pointer from Houston.
Shelton State limited Wallace State to six points over the final 9:04 in the second quarter and led 41-29 at halftime. The Lady Bucs pushed their advantage to 65-46 after three quarters.
Gabrielle Nicholson’s 19 points led three Shelton State players in double figures. Keyuana Thompson scored 16 points and Kailey Echols added 11.
Wallace State continues conference action Thursday as the Lady Lions host Lawson State beginning at 5:30 p.m.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit athletics.wallacestate.edu.
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
1-866-350-9722 256-352-8443 direct
Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu