MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Walters State and Motlow State have produced great battles on the basketball court in the past. Wednesday night's game wasn't one of them as the Senators took control early and rolled to and 89-69 triumph at 'Z' Buda Gymnasium.
Luiz Machado came off the bench to pour in 26 points to lead Coach Bill Carlyle's club to its fourth win against two losses. The Senators are now 2-1 in Tennessee Community College Athletic Association action.
The Senators kept the crowd fired up all night long with an impressive display of dunks, throwing down 10 on the night with Jones getting half of them, including a nice windmill on a second-half break-away.
Motlow State, now 5-5 overall and 0-3 in conference play, was led by Jace Wallace with 18 points. Nic Barstad added 14 and Daryl Thompson had 12.
The Bucks' leading scorer, Darius Harding who came into the game averaging over 21 per game, was held to nine and Carlyle said that was one of the keys to the victory.
"First, let me say that anytime you beat Motlow State you've done well," remarked the coach. "We just had a really good night tonight.
"I thought we did an excellent job on Harding," he added. "He's averaging 21 points and 10 rebounds a game and we did a good job of shutting him down. We tried to faceguard him and not let him get the ball. I thought it affected their flow on offense."
Carlyle continued, "But we still made too many errors. This team could be good if they get under control a little more. We got some good little guards but they've just got one gait and that's wide-open. We're trying to get them where we need them.
"It was a great win for us. We got off to a great start and that really made a lot of difference. We had some people I was very pleased with tonight. We did a pretty good job."
The Senators wound up hitting 35-of-63 from the floor for 53 percent including 5-of-10 from three-point range. Motlow finished 25-of-70 for 35.7 and hit 9-of-27 threes.
Jones, Taylor and Machado all raked off seven stray shots to propel the winners to a 37-33 backboard advantage. Thompson grabbed nine for the Bucks.
The Senators struggled at the free throw line, making only 14-of-24 and just 4-of-11 in the final five minutes.
Jamiah Holloway opened the scoring for the Senators before Harding tied it and Wallace canned a three-pointer to give the Bucks an early 5-2 lead.
However, Walters State reeled off 16 consecutive points as the Bucks went almost six minutes without scoring. Holloway started the run with his second bucket before Jones rammed in his first dunk to put the Senators in front for good with 17:41 left in the half.
Jones hit a free throw and Machado grabbed a rebound and put it back in. Jones dunked another one and Jermize Weddle and Sylvester Thompson scored before Machado capped the run with an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 18-5.
It was never a game after that. Barstad nailed a three for the visitors, but Machado gunned through a long bomb and Taylor scored for a 23-8 margin. Barstad connected again for the Bucks but Jordan Wilkerson hit a layup on the break and then got a steal and dunk on the other end.
Motlow came back within 37-26, but the Senators scored the final nine of the half for a 20-pont margin at the break.
The Senators pulled out to a 23-point margin, but the Bucks got it back down to 66-49 on a basket by BoBo Hodges halfway through the final period.
That's when the home team scored eight straight for their biggest lead and never looked back,
The Senators hit the road Saturday for a 5 p.m. tip-off against TCCAA rival Dyersburg State.