ROME, Ga. — Walters State battled back in the second and third periods, but a single-digit effort on offense in the first would hang on the scoreboard all game. No. 4-ranked Northwest Florida State cruised to a 70-50 victory over the Lady Senators Saturday in the Georgia Highlands Classic at Georgia Highlands College.

The Raiders (9-0) charged out to a 23-9 lead in the opening quarter and opened the game on a 13-2 run started by Rayven Peeples. A layup from Jamya Rogers ended the scoreless drought for Walters State (5-4), but did nothing to slow Northwest Florida down.

A three from Paris Mullins would end the scoring in the first, with WSCC down 14.

The Lady Senators came alive in the second, matching NFS basket for basket for a 19-19 period heading into the half. Mullins, Vertonia Bady and Blayre Shultz did the damage from the floor, but Walters State still trailed 42-28 when the teams headed to the locker room.

The third quarter was again even, as both teams slowed the action down to finish 12-12 in the period. This time it was steals and rebounds from Rogers that helped Walters State make it a game.

A jumper from Bady with five minutes to go in the period pulled the Lady Senators within seven, 44-37.

They got within six three minutes later when Bady sank a three at the 2:35 mark. It was as close as they would get it as the Raiders outscored WSCC 16-10 in the final period to close out the 20-point victory.

Walters State was led by Mullins, who scored 16 points to go with seven rebounds. Bady and Schultz had 11 points apiece. Rogers finished with seven points and seven rebounds.

The Raiders got 18 points for Chanaya Pinto. Peeples scored 17, Reneasha Payton had 12 and Fapou Semebene put in 11.

NEXT UP

The Lady Senators return to the friendly confines of ‘Z’ Buda Gymnasium when they take on TCCAA rival Cleveland State Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.

Gulf Coast 84 Walters State 40

Gulf Coast State charged out the gate quickly and never slowed down. The No. 1-ranked Lady Commodores dominated all four periods to defeat Walters State 84-40 Friday night in the Georgia Highlands Classic at Georgia Highlands College.

GCS (6-0) took a 21-8 lead in the first period, opening with a three-pointer from Naomi Mbandu. Walters State (5-3) kept it tight for the first five minutes, trailing just 7-6 after two Jamya Rogers free throws, but managed just one more basket, a layup for Kiera Hill, in the final half of the frame.

Gulf Coast put on an 8-0 run to end the first. While the Lady Senators got more offense in the second period, scoring 12, the Lady Commodores put in 25, with nearly all of it coming around the basket. GCS hit just five threes in the contest, but was 48 percent from the floor and 77.8 percent from the free throw line.

Meanwhile, WSCC cooled back off in the third, only scoring nine points. The Lady Senators couldn’t find the basket from beyond the arc, sinking just 3-of-20 three point attempts. They shot 30 percent from the floor for the game.

Walters State was led by Jamya Rogers, who scored 14 points. No other Lady Senator was in double figures. Rogers added five rebounds. Paris Mullins had eight points and six rebounds. Jalayah Manning knocked down five boards.

The Lady Commodores got 16 points apiece form Mbandu and Ndeye Ciss, who came off the bench. Ahlana Smith and Tatiana Jones scored 15 points each.