No. 6 WSCC Lady Senators advance to TCCAA semifinals
LYNCHBURG — The sixth ranked Walters State Lady Senators basketball team is deep, talented and young. They also know how to win.
The top-seeded Lady Senators rolled into the TCCAA-NJCAA Region VII Tournament semifinals Wednesday by trouncing eighth-seeded Columbia State, 71-32, and ending the season for the Lady Chargers inside Copperweld Arena on the Motlow State campus.
With the win, the Lady Senators have now won 21 games in a row to improve to 27-1 on the season, and they will take on Chattanooga State (14-11) on Friday at 3 p.m. in the tournament semifinals.
The loss ends the year for Columbia State with a 6-19 record, and it is the second straight year WSCC ended their season. Last year, the Lady Senators dropped the Lady Chargers in the TCCAA championship game.
Walters State took control early in the game and never looked back. Jasmine McAllister dropped in a pair of buckets and Caprisha Rogers buried an NBA-range 3-pointer to give the Lady Senators a 9-2 lead just five minutes into the game.
Columbia State briefly cut the lead to five, but never got closer. Walters State responded with a 7-0 spurt, with five points coming from Donnesha Shuler to make it 18-6 with 10:03 left in the half.
Both teams struggled from the field the rest of the half, with the Lady Chargers scoring only three field goals in the final 12 minutes of the opening frame. The Lady Senators led by as much as 13 late in the half before a 3-pointer by Columbia State’s Claire Franklin cut the halftime deficit to 28-18.
McAllister and Tangela Crenshaw both had eight points in the opening half for Walters State, while Toyree Watkins led the Lady Chargers with five points in the first 20 minutes.
The Lady Senators put the lackluster first half behind them and scored the opening 16 points of the second half to build a commanding 44-18 lead. Columbia State got a bucket from Watkins with 12:30 left in the game for their first bucket of the second half, but they only scored four points in the first 13 minutes of the closing frame.
Walters State had 11 players score, and the bench did most of the work in the final 10 minutes of the game. After scoring 48 points in the opening 30 minutes, the Lady Senators scored 23 in the final 10 minutes, including 16 points in the last 4:34 of the contest to roll to the victory.
Walters State shot 42.3 percent (30 of 71) from the field in the win, including just 6 of 21 from the 3-point line. The Lady Senators held a 47-25 advantage on the boards, with Rogers pulling down a game-high nine rebounds.
Shuler paced WSCC with 11 points in the win, while Crenshaw, McAllister and Monashia Bolduc added 10 points each and Rogers had nine in the contest. Karly Frye dished out seven assists and Rogers had five dimes in the victory.
Columbia State shot just 28.9 percent (11 of 38) from the floor in the contest, and they committed 21 turnovers in the defeat.
Teri Williams led the Lady Chargers with 12 points and Watkins tallied 10 in the loss. After scoring 18 in their opening won Tuesday against Jackson State, Samantha Thomas was held to four points by the Walters State defense.
Lady Senators collect TCCAA honors
The Lady Senators steamrolled through the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association schedule this season, dominating every team on their schedule.
So when the postseason awards were announced Wednesday night, it was no surprise that they placed five players on the All-TCCAA team and took home the two highest individual awards.
Sophomore Aisjah Roan was tabbed as the TCCAA Player of the Year after averaging 12.2 points a game. She also added 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.4 steals per contest in leading the Lady Senators to the regular season title, a 27-1 record and a seventh trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in the last nine seasons.
Roan was joined on the All-TCCAA first team by fellow sophomore Caprisha Rogers and freshmen Donnesha Shuler and Tangela Crenshaw. Freshman point guard Karly Frye was tabbed as a second team All-TCCAA performer.
Lady Senators coach Dave Kragel was selected as the TCCAA Coach of the Year after guiding WSCC to a ranking of sixth in the country and also their fourth straight TCCAA regular season crown after posting a perfect 18-0 record. Kragel also surpassed the 800-win plateau this season and will be taking the Lady Senators to the NJCAA National Tournament in Salina, Kan., for the 10th time in program history.
-From Staff Reports