MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Sixth-ranked Shelton State blitzed ninth-ranked Walters State with a barrage of 3-point shots throughout Saturday's matchup of top 10 teams, making 15 shots from long range in taking a 69-55 victory over the Lady Senators inside 'Z' Buda Gymnasium and Assembly Hall on the final day of the Walters State Senators Tip-Off Classic.
The Lady Bucs (2-0) were led by Tiyah Johnson, who hit six triples in the contest, as the team made 10 of its first 13 attempts from beyond the arc in leading by as much as 17 points in the game. Walters State (1-1) made a run in the third period but never got closer than seven, dropping a home contest to Shelton State for the second straight year.
The Lady Bucs opened the game scoring the first two buckets and added a 3-pointer from Briana Trigg before Walters State got its first made field goal from Jamya Rogers to make it a 7-4 game. Zacharyia Esmon and Brianna Dixon added buckets for the Lady Senators, and they led 10-9 before a triple from LaTora Duff put the Lady Bucs back on top. LaTascya Duff added a pair of 3-pointers to give Shelton State an 18-10 lead after one.
Johnson took over for the visitors in the second period, hitting four straight 3-pointers and scoring all 14 points in a 14-5 run that padded the margin to 32-15. Johnson added another triple later in the half, making it a 40-24 lead and giving her 17 points in the frame. The Lady Senators got scores from Esmon and Rogers in the final two minutes of the half to cut the halftime margin to 40-28.
The Lady Bucs shot 51.7 percent (15 of 29) in the first half, including a scorching 76.9 percent (10 of 13) from long range. Johnson fired in 19 points to lead all scorers in the half.
Walters State shot just 40.7 percent (11 of 27) in the opening 20 minutes, making 2 of 7 from long distance and 4 of 5 at the foul line. Rogers tallied 11 points in the half to lead the Lady Senators in scoring.
The Lady Bucs kept the lead in double figures until a bucket by Esmon followed by a triple from Derrinesha Jackson trimmed the deficit to 49-43 with 3:37 left in the third period. Johnson immediately responded with a 3-pointer, her sixth of the game, to take a 54-47 lead into the fourth period.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Ataiya Bridges and Trigg pushed the lead back to 60-47 less than a minute into the final frame, and the Lady Senators only briefly cut the deficit to single digits on a pair of free throws from Dixon with 7:05 left in the game. From there, the Lady Bucs controlled the tempo and built the lead to as much as 15 before settling for the 69-55 final.
Shelton State ended up shooting 47.3 percent (26 of 55) from the field in the contest but made 15 of 22 from downtown (68.2 percent) and the only two free throws it attempted. Johnson scored 22 points to lead all scorers, while Trigg had 13 and Bridges added a dozen in the win.
Walters State shot 38.8 percent (19 of 49) in the contest, including 3 of 10 from 3-point range, while making 14 of 20 free throws. Esmon followed up her 22-point effort Friday with 16 points in the contest, while Rogers added 12 points and Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu tacked on 9 points in the loss.
The Lady Senators will return to action Wednesday with a home tilt against Spartanburg Methodist. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.