Ailshie sparks WSCC Senators in upset of Volunteer State
LYNCHBURG — Walters State sophomore guard Tyler Ailshie provided a spark Thursday night in the TCCAA-NJCAA Region VII Tournament for the seventh-seeded Senators.
Ailshie scored 13 points in the final 10 minutes of Walters State’s quarterfinal matchup against second-seed Volunteer State to ignite the Senators to a 68-59 upset victory inside Copperweld Arena on the Motlow State campus that puts WSCC a win away from the championship game.
With the win, Walters State improves to 16-14 on the year, and they will face third-seeded Cleveland State tonight at 9 p.m. for a spot in the finals. Cleveland State defeated sixth-seeded Southwest Tennessee 75-59 late Thursday night.
The loss ends the season for Vol State with a 20-7 record.
Ailshie was the story, and he drew high praise from Senators coach Bill Carlyle after the game.
“Tyler brought us some energy tonight when we desperately needed it,” Carlyle said. “We were struggling offensively, and he came in off the bench and took the game over. He hit some big shots, hustled on both ends of the floor and the rest of the team just fed off of it.”
Neither team found much rhythm on offense in the early going, with the Pioneers leading 6-4 five minutes into the game. The Senators used an 8-3 run, as Darius White and Leland Robinson both hit 3-pointers to take a 12-11 advantage midway through the opening half.
Volunteer State got rolling behind Justin Perry, who scored nine straight points for the Pioneers to help them jump ahead 25-20 with 3:15 left on the clock. Another 3-pointer by White, a dunk by Denard Williams and a bucket from Tony Wilkerson helped Walters State pull even at 27 by halftime.
Walters State shot just 37.5 percent (9 of 24) in the first half, including 3 of 7 from long range, but they managed to make 6 of 8 from the free throw line.
White had eight points in the opening half for the Senators, while Robinson added five points but picked up his third foul late in the frame. Williams and Kelvin Key both had four points in the half for WSCC.
The Pioneers made 37.9 percent (11 of 29) from the floor in the half, but made just 3 of 8 from the charity stripe. Perry tossed in nine points, all in a four-minute span, for Vol State in the first half, while Barry Robinson and Alex Marzette both had four points.
The Pioneers built a 41-34 lead with 11:05 left in the game, but Ailshie took over from there. The sophomore from Kingsport buried a pair of 3-pointers, and Denard Williams added a long-range bomb in a 19-5 run that gave the Senators a 53-46 lead.
The Pioneers briefly cut the lead to four, but Willie Holloway put the game away by nailing an unbelievable shot as he was pushed out of bounds. Holloway added the fee throw to push the margin into double digits, and the Senators held on from there.
Walters State finished the night shooting 40.4 percent (19 of 47) from the field, and they made 24 of 36 from the free throw line to counter turning the ball over 24 times.
Ailshie led the Senators with 13 points, all in the second half, and Williams added 11 in the win.
Vol State made 38.3 percent (23 of 60) of their shots from the field, but they lost the game at the free throw stripe by making just 6 of 23 (26.1 percent) in the contest. Joe Wilbert led the Pioneers with 12 points in the defeat.
-From Staff Reports