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Senators pull away in second half, rout Vol State 103-82

Senators pull away in second half, rout Vol State 103-82

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Walters State scored 68 points in the final 24 minutes of Friday's home contest against Volunteer State, including a 57-point outburst in the second half to grab a 103-82 victory over the Pioneers inside 'Z' Buda Gymnasium in a Tennessee Community College Athletic Association men's basketball game.


Eleven different Senators scored in the win, including five in double figures, as Miles Thomas led the home team's effort with 28 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals in the win.


With the victory, Walters State improves to 19-7 on the year and 10-4 in league play, keeping their No. 2 spot in the standings behind league leading Motlow State.


The loss dropped the Pioneers to 5-15 overall and 3-10 in region play.


Khiry Shelton added 16 points for the Senators in the contest, while Kajuan Hale notched a double-double with 14 points and 11 assists. Deontae Davis added 11 points, while Paris Taylor finished with 10 in the win.


The balanced scoring from the Senators overcame a huge night from Vol State's Justin Goodson and Tim Goodrich, as the duo combined for 58 points and seven made triples. Goodson tossed in a game-high 34 points, while Goodrich added 24 in the defeat. Jonathan Howard tossed in 10 points and Chase Hawkins had nine in the defeat.


It looked early on as if the Senators would run away with the win far earlier than they did, with Thomas converting a pair of 3-point plays and adding two thunderous dunks while scoring half of WSCC's points in a 24-11 opening spurt.


The Pioneers finally slowed the onslaught, and Goodson and Goodrich went to work during an 18-3 run to take a 29-26 lead. Kobe Powell knocked down a trey to knot the score at 32, and Shelton scored moments later for a 34-32 lead, but a basket by Goodrich gave the Pioneers a 36-35 lead. It turned out to be their final lead of the game, as a Jaden Lewis free throw in an 11-2 run to close the half put WSCC back on top and the Senators led 46-38 at halftime.


The Pioneers cut the lead to 55-52 in the second half, but they never got closer, as Davis hit a triple and Thomas added a trey to build the lead to 11, forcing a Vol State timeout but they never recovered. The lead was trimmed to 76-71 late, but an 18-4 run capped by a 3-pointer from Hale made it a 19-point lead and the Senators cruised from there, eclipsing the century mark with 2:14 left on another bucket by Hale.


Walters State shot 52.5 percent (32 of 61) from the field in the win, making 9 of 17 from long range and 30 of 45 at the charity stripe. The Senators held a 40-34 edge in scoring in the paint and 26-16 in points off turnovers.


The Pioneers connected on 50 percent (34 of 68) of their shot attempts, including 9 of 20 from deep, while making 5 of 7 free throws. Vol State committed 19 turnovers and had just six offensive rebounds in the defeat.


The Senators will return to the hardwood Saturday afternoon with a 4 p.m. contest against Motlow State in a battle of the top two teams in the TCCAA.