HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State’s women’s basketball team used a huge third-quarter surge and strong bench contributions to roll to a 79-42 victory over Coastal Alabama-North in Tuesday’s Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) Tournament quarterfinals at Lawson State.
Clinging to a three-point halftime lead, a host of Lady Lions fueled an impressive 16-0 run to begin the second half, putting the game away. Meanwhile, Wallace State’s defense yielded only six points in the third quarter and 13 in the second half as the Lady Lions (23-6) won their fifth straight under interim coach Jessica McBrayer.
“I thought we were playing well in the first half and we weren’t nervous. We just weren’t executing. We came out of the locker room with a goal of leading by 20 points after the third quarter and got there. We found an adrenaline rush in the second half and started knocking down shots,” McBrayer said. “The team accepted the challenge. Our sophomores did a great job stepping up and our bench played phenomenal. Our scoring came from everywhere, including from Channing Gafford who came in and was great.”
Gafford, a freshman from Lauderdale County, scored a career-high 16 points off the bench for Wallace State, marking her first game in double figures this season. She sparked Wallace State’s bench to outscore the Eagles, 42-2.
Sophomores Joy Sadler and Sydney Powell scored 13 points apiece, DeMaurea Moore finished with eight off the bench, Gabby Hill had seven and Miajah Bullock added six in a reserve role.
Wallace State, the North Division’s second seed, had 11 players crack the scoring column.
Wallace State struggled from the field in the opening minutes, yet owned a 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, capped by a Hill trey.
The Lady Lions led by as many as seven points in the first half before Coastal Alabama-North chipped away.
Coastal Alabama – North’s Shanda Pugh tied the game at 17-17 with 6:56 remaining in the second quarter, and there were three ties over the next two minutes. Tykeah Rogers’ free throws with 3:49 left gave the Lady Lions a 25-23 edge, and they closed the half with a 32-29 advantage.
The Lady Lions led 57-35 after the third quarter and enjoyed as much as a 37-point lead in the second half.
Pugh led the Eagles with a game-high 18 points. Coastal Alabama-North entered as the South’s third seed.
Wallace State’s dominant third quarter propelled the Lady Lions into Thursday’s semifinal round vs. Chattahoochee Valley at 1 p.m. The Lady Lions beat CVCC at home on Dec. 2.
All tournament games can be viewed live at www.jockjive.com.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit www.athletics.wallacestate.edu.
Wallace State freshman Channing Gafford scored a career-high 16 points in Tuesday’s quarterfinal win over CVCC.
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