HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State’s basketball teams capped a memorable Sunday at Tom Drake Coliseum with a sweep of Snead State.
Playing in front of one of the largest crowds in recent Wallace State basketball history, the Lady Lions earned an impressive 77-67 victory in the opener, and the Wallace State men outlasted Snead State 59-57 in the second game, registering their 20th win of the season.
In between victories, Wallace State inducted its second Sports Hall of Fame class in conjunction with the college’s 50th anniversary. The 2016 inductees are former women’s coach Larry Slater, former Wallace State golfer and PGA tour pro Brett Wetterich, former Wallace State golfer and current Florida State golf coach Trey Jones, former Wallace softball player Cindy Mallard and contributor Johnny Thornton.
Additionally, Slater and members of the 1990-91 Wallace State women’s basketball team were recognized for earning the first conference championship in program history, and the college celebrated its annual homecoming.
“It felt like today really energized our players. We had a lot of former players here and a great crowd. I’m proud of the way we played,” said Wallace State women’s coach Ron Burdette, whose team has won two conference games in a row. “All in all, I thought it was our most complete effort of the season. We still have tons of work to do. I hope it’s a step in the right direction.”
Five Wallace State Lady Lions (10-14, 2-3 Alabama Community College Conference) finished with double figures. Freshman Kelsey Houston drained four 3-pointers and had a team-high 15 points, D’Andrea Smith scored a career-high 12 points, Janese Richardson finished with 11 and Alex Lowery and Hannah Vest each added 10 points.
Wallace State, which battled back from an early 9-3 deficit, led 18-15 after the first quarter. The Lady Lions extended their lead to 32-21 with 4:06 left in the first half, and a minute later, a nifty move by Lowery in the lane handed Wallace State a 34-21 advantage.
The Lady Lions maintained a 34-26 cushion at the break.
Wallace State pulled away considerably in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Parsons 21-9. Houston closed the third quarter by nailing a trey, widening Wallace State’s lead to 55-35 heading into the final period.
Wallace State built as much as a 21-point lead in the fourth.
Jasmine Hollis added seven points for Wallace State, which continues conference play at Gadsden State on Thursday.
“We are climbing the ladder up in the conference. It looked a little bleak a couple of weeks ago, but we all feel better now,” Burdette said.
For Snead State (16-9, 1-4 ACCC), Jasmine Richardson paced the way with a game-high 24 points.
Wallace State 59, Snead State 57
Kylen Butler poured in all 15 of his points in the second half, Immanuel King had 14 and Derylton Hill chipped in with 11 points for the Lions, who have won 12 of their last 14 games.
Wallace State, which overcame a nine-point deficit 12:40 to go, also hit the 20-win plateau with six conference games remaining.
With Wallace State (20-4, 5-1 ACCC) clinging to a 56-53 lead with 1:13 remaining in the game, Butler and King, both sophomores, helped the Lions secure their third home win in seven days.
King tipped in missed shot for a 58-53 edge with a little more than a minute to go. Butler, one of Wallace State’s top defenders, added a free throw with 1.1 seconds left and missed the second shot on purpose, making sure Snead State couldn’t put up a final heave before time expired.
Since Monday night, Wallace State has collected three gritty victories against Shelton State, Lawson State and the Parsons.
“We said early in the season we might have to win ugly some games and we did today. We’ve got to focus on the notion that we are one of the hunted teams, and we have a big ‘X’ on our back right now. Teams are going to get overhyped to play us. We have to play with the same passion, intensity and execution every game. We can’t afford letdowns,” said Wallace State men’s coach John Meeks.
Wallace State charged out to a 14-3 lead less than nine minutes into Sunday’s conference tilt. Hill capped the opening surge with a 3-point play with 11:52 to go in the first half.
With seven minutes left, Wallace State’s Jaylen McCoy hit a 3-pointer to push the Lions’ lead to 23-12.
Snead State (7-16, 1-5 ACCC) countered with a 15-6 run to close the first half, trimming Wallace State’s lead to 29-27 at intermission.
Snead State seized control early in the second half and led 42-34 with 12:40 remaining in the game.
Wallace State chipped away over the next six minutes, and a pair of Butler 3’s helped the Lions regain momentum and a 49-47 lead with 6:18 to go.
Butler handed the Lions a 54-48 advantage with 4:53 remaining after a steal and a subsequent breakaway layup.
“Kylen Butler made some big plays for us in the second half. He knows what it takes to win in this league,” Meeks said.
Xavier Mills scored six points for Wallace State and McCoy added five.
Ryan Dupree led Snead State with 11 points. Cortland Davis added 10.
Wallace State closes its ACCC slate with five of its final six games on the road, including Thursday at Gadsden State.
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