GALLATIN, TN — For the 17th time in school history, the Walters State women’s basketball team is heading to the NJCAA National Tournament.
Taking on Southwest Tennessee in the TCCAA/Region VII Championship on Saturday, the Lady Senators shrugged off a slow start and used a strong second quarter to cruise past the Lady Saluquis, 60-31.
The Lady Senators now move on to the NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, TX. The tournament will be played from April 19-24 at the Rip Griffin Center.
It was a complete team effort by Walters State on Saturday as all 11 players saw action with seven scoring in the contest. As a team, the Lady Senators shot 23-58 from the field and had 43 rebounds and 19 assists.
The TCCAA/Region VII East Player of the Year, Blayre Shultz, led the way for Walters State with 18 points, five rebounds and five assists. Along with Shultz, Quentarra Mitchell had 13 points and seven rebounds while Vertonia Bady continued her impressive play in the postseason with 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Also in the contest, Madison Mccoy had seven points, five rebounds and four blocks while Jaida Wiggins had five points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
On the defensive side of the ball, Walters State held Southwest Tennessee to just 14-61 from the field and 1-15 from 3-point range. Walters State also forced 19 turnovers.
It was a slow start for both teams as the Lady Senators fell behind 11-5 with 2:40 to go in the first quarter. However, with the nerves gone, Walters State settled down and caught back up.
First, it was Bady with a layup. Then, after a Southwest bucket, Bady answered again and then stole the ball and fed Shultz for a layup. The Lady Senators would tie the game seconds later on a Mitchell layup and would take the lead after one with Shultz nailing a layup at the buzzer.
In the second quarter, Walters State set the tone for the rest of the contest. The Lady Senators out-scored Southwest 18-6 in the quarter before it was all said and done.
The scoring started quickly as Ryann Woodley hit two free-throws and then Bady knocked home a 3-pointer. Then, it was Mccoy and Woodley with layups to push the lead to 10. Mccoy would then put the lead at double-digits with another layup. It would never dip back into single digits again as the Lady Senators led 33-19 at the half.
In the third quarter, the scoring continued as Walters State scored the first eight points to make it a 20-point lead. It was all said and done from there as Walters State outscored Southwest 18-8 in the third and 9-4 in the fourth quarter.
Walters State will be back in action next for the NJCAA National Tournament in Lubbock, TX. The Lady Senators will find out their opening round opponent on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. To watch the selection show, visit https://www.njcaa.org/network.