HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State’s men’s basketball team won this season’s first bout against 23rd-ranked Shelton State.
Sophomore Jaylen McCoy poured in a career-high 27 points for Wallace State, freshman Jarrett Thompson added a career-high 15 points, and the Lions overcame a double-digit deficit, prevailing 70-63 at Tom Drake Coliseum on Thursday night.
“We came out with a different energy after halftime and cleaned up some mistakes we were making. You always need to defend your home court, and I was proud of the way we responded after a disappointing loss on Tuesday,” said Wallace State coach John Meeks. “We beat a very good team and showed we have potential to be a good team ourselves, but we have to understand how to handle the highs and lows of each game.”
The second half was tight throughout after Shelton State controlled a 36-31 lead at the break.
With 14:58 to go in the game, Wallace State’s McCoy tied the game at 41-41 after a steal and converting a subsequent 3-point play.
On Shelton State’s next possession, McCoy struck again, forcing a turnover from the Bucs. McCoy, a sophomore from Montgomery, scooped up his second straight steal and took it the length of the court for an uncontested layup. He gave Wallace State its first lead at 43-41 with 14:27 remaining in the game.
The teams swapped leads five times over the next nine minutes, including being tied three times.
Wallace State’s Zach Allison broke a 54-all tie by hitting one free throw with 5:48 remaining, and Josh Hill added a pair of free throws for the Lions with 4:52 left for a 57-54 edge.
Shelton State twice cut its deficit to one point over the next two minutes, but Allison answered each time with a huge basket. Allison, an Auburn transfer, nailed a clutch 3-pointer with three minutes to go for a 62-58 advantage.
Rashawn Green’s 3-pointer handed the Lions a 65-60 lead with 1:47 remaining.
McCoy and Hill each hit a pair of free throws over the final 22.8 seconds to secure the win for the Lions (10-10, 2-1 Alabama Community College Conference) in their league home opener.
Shelton State led by as many as 10 points in the first half, building upon an early 11-2 advantage out of the gates.
Hill, a freshman from Faith Academy, added 10 points for Wallace State and Allison scored all eight of his points in the second half.
Trenton Clayton led Shelton State in the loss. Marcus Anthony added 11 points and Tra’Quan Knight chipped in with 10 for the Bucs, who lost only their third game of the season.
Wallace State hosts Southern Union on Sunday for homecoming. The men are scheduled to tip at 4 p.m.
“We need to carry this win over to Sunday because we don’t want to be thinking about a loss with an eight-day break afterwards,” Meeks said.
Shelton State 73, Wallace State 47
The 13th-ranked Lady Bucs had 11 players score in Thursday’s opener as they snapped Wallace State’s four-game winning streak.
Shelton State (18-2, 2-0 ACCC) held Wallace State scoreless over the game’s opening five minutes, leading 10-2. The Lady Bucs later led 17-8 at the end of the first quarter and 35-18 at halftime.
Shelton State pushed its cushion to 51-33 after three quarters.
Wallace State (13-6, 2-1 ACCC) was paced by Kelsey Houston’s 11 points. She hit three 3-pointers in the second half.
Janese Richardson scored 10 points for the Lady Lions and Morgan Higgins added eight.
Wallace State is back home Sunday when it hosts Southern Union, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit www.athletics.wallacestate.edu.
Staff Writer, Communications and Marketing
Wallace State Community College
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