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Slow start dooms Senators on the road in 99-82 loss

Slow start dooms Senators on the road in 99-82 loss

ROME, Ga. — A slow start turned into too deep of a hole for Walters State to overcome in its first true road game of the season Saturday afternoon, as the Senators dropped a 99-82 decision at No. 22 ranked Georgia Highlands.


The Chargers raced out to a 20-point halftime lead after trailing early on, getting 41 points from their bench in putting the game out of reach in the opening 20 minutes.


With the win, the Chargers improved to 3-1 on the season with their second win of the weekend against TCCAA competition after defeating Motlow State on Friday, 76-71.


The loss dropped the Senators to 3-2 on the year.


Walters State led early on, holding a small margin as the clock ticked under 16 minutes to go until halftime, but the rest of the half belonged to the Chargers.


Georgia Highlands outscored the Senators by 23 the last 15:52 of the half, taking a 51-31 lead into halftime after shooting 47.5 percent (19 of 40) and having nine different players score in the half, led by VJ Saxton with 13 points off the bench. Chris Wright added 8 points in the half, as the Chargers outscored the WSCC reserves 27-3 in the opening 20 minutes.


Walters State was limited to 31.4 percent shooting in the first half, making 11 of 35 shots for the lowest one-half shooting percentage so far this season. The Senators did connect on 3 of 6 from long range but only 6 of 13 from the free throw line, and they turned it over 12 times in the half. Kajuan Hale led WSCC with 10 points and 4 assists in the half, while Paris Taylor added 8 points in the frame.


The Senators shot much better in the second half, but it was too little, too late at that point. The Chargers actually widened their lead to as much as 24 in the second half before Walters State closed the gap to 17 by the end of the contest.


Georgia Highlands ended the night shooting 48.1 percent (37 of 77) in the contest, including 10 of 25 from long range, and the Chargers made 15 of 25 free throws in the game. Saxton led GHC with 23 points and 8 rebounds, while Khalyl Waters notched 19 points, Carl Johnson added 16, Derrick Cook had 11 points and 8 rebounds and Jalen Knight finished with 10 points in the win.


Walters State shot 40.3 percent (27 of 67) for the game, making 8 of 18 from 3-point land and 20 of 37 at the foul line. Hale tossed in 21 points, dished out 6 assists and had 6 rebounds to pace the Senators, while Miles Thomas added 11 points, Seth Lenard-Battle had 9 points and Taylor ended up with 8. WSCC turned it over 25 times, leading to 25 points for the Chargers.


The Senators will be back on the hardwood Tuesday evening with a road game in Athens against Tennessee Wesleyan's junior varsity team. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.