HANCEVILLE, ALA. — Wallace State’s women’s basketball team had its season come to a heartbreaking end in overtime on Thursday evening, losing to Chattahoochee Valley 77-73 in the Alabama Community College Conference semifinals at Lawson State.
Anesha Smith’s layup for CVCC broke a 66-all tie with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, and the Lady Pirates held on in the final stanza. It’s the second straight season Wallace State fell in overtime to the Lady Pirates in the ACCC Tournament semis.
“It’s a tough one to lose. Our women played hard and gave every ounce they had. It just didn’t go our way down the stretch in overtime,” said Wallace State coach Jessica McBrayer, whose team finishes with a 24-7 record.
Wallace State forced overtime after battling back from an early seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter and a four-point deficit with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. The Lady Lions seized a brief 60-59 edge with 1:14 left after a Jada Golden 3-pointer from the left corner. CVCC answered right back with a layup, reclaiming a 61-60 lead with 59 seconds remaining.
It stayed that way until Wallace State’s final possession of regulation. Golden grabbed a loose ball after a missed 3-pointer and was fouled on an attempted shot with 2.1 seconds left. The sophomore from Fairview made one free throw, forcing overtime.
CVCC built as much as a five-point lead in overtime.
Wallace State freshman Imari Martin finished with 23 points, including hitting 11 free throws. She was named an All-ACCC Region 22 and All-North Division second-team selection prior to the tournament.
Sophomore Channing Gafford scored all 11 of her points in the first half behind three 3’s for the Lady Lions, Jasmine Baker finished with nine points and 12 rebounds and DeMaurea Moore pitched in with eight points and nine rebounds.
Audrey McElhaney led CVCC with a game-high 29 points.
Wallace State sophomore Miajah Bullock was named an All-ACCC Region and All-North Division first-team selection for her regular season work, and Moore was an All-ACCC North Division second-team selection.
McBrayer was named the ACCC Co-North Division Coach of the Year.
The largest lead of the game was eight points, sustained early in the first quarter by CVCC. The Lady Pirates led 18-12 after the first.
Wallace State maintained control late in the second quarter, leading by as many as five points. The Lady Lions led 34-32 at the break.
CVCC led 49-45 after three quarters.
Thursday marked the final game in a Wallace State uniform for Bullock, Gafford, Golden and Moore.
“These sophomores laid the foundation of what we’re trying to do. I can’t be more proud of them. All four of them have the chance to play somewhere else, and we expect them to take what they’ve learned from this season and this game and use it to their benefit with their new basketball families,” McBrayer said.
Wallace State’s women surpassed the 20-win plateau for the seventh time in eight seasons.
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