While it was snowing outside, it was raining threes inside ‘Z’ Buda Gymnasium Monday night as the Walters State Senators clashed with Tennessee Wesleyan’s junior varsity team. The two squads combined to hit 23 three-pointers in a 103-69 Senators’ win.
The Bulldogs lived behind the three-point line as they drained 15 shots from deep and only netted nine baskets from two-point range. The Senators also found success from downtown as they connected on nine threes. Walters State head coach Bill Carlyle said while he doesn’t want to see a shooting parade every night, his team had the opportunity to take shots from outside and capitalized. “We would all shoot threes if we could, but that obviously isn’t the way to win basketball games. But what can you say? The shots were there and were easy so you take what you get.”
Walters State had a balanced scoring effort as all 13 players who saw the court scored, led by 17 points from Sly Thompson. Tyler Arnold had 14 points, Demarius Boyd added 13 and Kobe Powell chipped in 11. Luke Joiner was in a zone as he connected on 10 of his 17 3-point attempts to lead all scorers with 30 points. The Senators shot 61 percent (43-70) from the field and out-rebounded TWU 45-25.
“It’s hard to get serious when you play a JV team,” Carlyle stated after the game. “What we wanted to concentrate on was our defense, but it didn’t look like we had any in the first half. I thought we did a little better in the second half. We tried to stay away from the zone because we are better in the zone than man-to-man and we wanted to work on the man defense. It’s a win and it gets us ready for Cleveland State coming in on Wednesday. It got us in a good frame of mind and everyone got to play. Sliding a JV game into your schedule is good because it gives everyone a chance to wet their feet a little bit.”
The Senators hit six of their first seven field goal attempts and built a 10-point early lead on a dunk by Anthony Jones. Thompson got loose behind the arch and connected on three triples to put the home team up 34-18 midway through the first half.
The Bulldogs were able to cut the deficit to 10 points when Braven Horton scored on a rare two-point field goal to make it 39-29, but that was as close as they could get the rest of the way as Boyd and Luiz Machado combined to score nine points to pad the WSCC lead. Boyd finished the scoring in the first 20 minutes of play when he hit a shot, was fouled and converted the free throw to put the Senators ahead 54-38.
Powell had the hot hand for Walters State to start the second half as he scored the first six points of the frame. The Senators were able to build a sizable lead, but Joiner made things interesting as he kept knocking down shots from outside, one of which was well beyond the NBA three-point line. The lead swelled to 30 points when Jamiah Halloway had a basket at the nine minute mark. Walters State maintained the pace and went over the century mark when Arnold scored. The last basket was on a shot by Rae Forman that made the final score 103-69.
The Senators improve to 7-4 and will be back in action on Wednesday night as they host Cleveland State at 7:30 p.m.