HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State women’s basketball sophomore Joy Sadler was lethal Sunday in the paint, behind the 3-point arc and at the free-throw line.
It all added up to a career-high 32 points for Sadler and a convincing 70-44 Wallace State victory over Southern Union at Tom Drake Coliseum during homecoming, moving the Lady Lions to 14-6 overall and 2-1 in Alabama Community College Conference action.
Sadler, a Gardendale native, also registered her seventh double-double of the season, adding 10 rebounds to her scoring output.
“Joy Sadler played out of her mind and put the game on her back. Joy is very versatile. She can get tough points at the rim and can also step out and hit the elbow jumper or big 3-pointers. It’s hard to defend a post player who can shoot from any level on the floor,” said Wallace State interim head coach Jessica McBrayer. “We needed that from her.”
Sadler became the first Wallace State player to surpass the 30-point plateau since Morgan Smith posted 33 points during the 2014-2015 season. Sadler poured in 24 of the 32 points in the second half, went 8 of 18 from the field and was 13-for-16 at the charity stripe. She added three 3-pointers.
“Winning the game was the most important thing to me. It was exciting to have a game like that and for us to win another conference game,” said Sadler, whose previous season high was 26 points.
Wallace State charged out to an 18-7 lead by the end of the first quarter and extended it to 29-14 at the half.
The Lady Lions built as much as a 17-point cushion in the third quarter and controlled a 43-31 cushion at the end of the period.
Southern Union trimmed its deficit to 10 points with a little less than five minutes remaining. Wallace State didn’t let the Lady Bison get within single digits, however, closing the game on a dominant 18-2 run.
“We didn’t come out as strong as I expected. The main thing is we closed the game strong and had people step up when it mattered most,” McBrayer said. “Jada Golden earned her first start of the year and hit some big shots. Channing Gafford came off the bench and made some big plays defensively.”
Golden, a Fairview grad, poured in 15 points for Wallace State behind three 3-pointers. Sydney Powell added nine for points for the Lady Lions and Marquise Cobbs finished with six points and six rebounds.
For Southern Union, Alecia North led the way with 12 points.
Southern Union 71, Wallace State 68
A pair of 3-point attempts to force overtime fell short on Wallace State’s final possession, and Southern Union escaped Tom Drake Coliseum with a conference victory on Sunday.
Wallace State nearly capped off an inspiring comeback against the Bison. The Lions (12-8, 0-4 ACCC) faced a nine-point deficit with 13:40 to go in the game before freshman Mike Johnson heated up from 3-point territory.
Johnson drained four 3-pointers over a three-minute spurt and got the Lions within one point – at 56-55 with 8:42 remaining.
Wallace State grabbed the lead on its next possession on a Dee’Quan Fleming layup. Johnson added a layup with just over five minutes remaining for a 59-56 edge.
Southern Union (8-5, 1-2 ACCC) tied the game at 59-all with 4:48 remaining, but Fleming put Wallace State back up by one point with a free throw at the 4:27 mark.
Ryan Calhoun’s jumper reclaimed the edge for the Bison with 3:50 remaining, and the Bison led by as many five points in the final two minutes.
Wallace State still had a chance to tie things in the closing seconds. Jonathan Andre’s layup cut the Lions’ deficit to three points with 19.9 seconds left.
Marcus Gilbert’s missed free throw for Southern Union gave Wallace State one final chance to force overtime.
Demarkus Lampley narrowly missed the first attempt and Max Clark’s shot rimmed out as time expired.
Johnson’s 17 points led three Wallace State players in double figures. Andre finished with 16 points for the Lions and Chris Rollins pitched in with 11. Lampley added eight points.
Brandon Rutledge scored a game-high 20 points for Southern Union. Calhoun added 17 points and Gilbert had 15.
Wallace State’s four conference losses have been tough-luck defeats, losing by an average of only 4.2 points.
The Lions continue conference action at Bevill State on Thursday. The Wallace State women travel to Motlow State on Wednesday for a non-conference game.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit www.athletics.wallacestate.edu.
Staff Writer, Communications and Marketing
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