MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Ninth-ranked Walters State used three large scoring runs in the final three periods Saturday afternoon to finish off Roane State in a 79-43 Homecoming victory in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association opener for both teams inside 'Z' Buda Gymnasium and Assembly Hall.
The Lady Senators used a 15-0 run in both the second and third periods before an 8-0 run to start the fourth frame put the game out of reach, as a 9-point halftime lead turned into a 36-point margin of victory after WSCC outscored the Lady Raiders 48-21 in the final 20 minutes.
With the win, the Lady Senators have now won 67 straight TCCAA home games and 147 of their last 148 games in league play, as they improve to 5-1 overall and 1-0 in region action.
The loss dropped the Lady Raiders to 1-5 on the year and 0-1 in league play.
Walters State shot out of the gates quickly to begin the game, scoring 14 of the games first 16 points to take a 12-point lead, but the Lady Raiders responded with 12 straight points to end the first frame with the game tied at 14.
Mackenzie Armes scored a layup 34 seconds into the second period to make it a 14-0 run for the Lady Raiders and a 16-14 Roane State lead, but Walters State responded with a long run of its own.
The Lady Senators held the Lady Raiders scoreless for the next seven minutes and 21 seconds, and Zacharyia Esmon made sure Walters State reclaimed the lead in a hurry. Esmon tied it with a layup then hit a long triple to put the home team back on top, as WSCC ran off 15 straight points to take a 29-16 lead.
Armes ended the spurt with a bucket, as Roane State outscored the Lady Senators 6-2 in the final 2:05 of the half to cut the deficit to 31-22 at halftime.
The Lady Senators ended the first half shooting 46.2 percent (12 of 26) from the field, making 2 of 4 from long distance and 5 of 6 at the free throw line. Esmon led Walters State with 9 points in the first two periods, while Dulcy Fankam-Medjiadeu added 8 points in the half.
The Lady Raiders were limited to just 31.3 percent shooting (10 of 32) in the first half, making 2 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc and misfiring on their lone free throw attempt of the opening 20 minutes. Leonie Owona and Amber Appiah-Kubi each had 6 points off the bench in the half, as Roane State had just 4 points from its starters in the first two frames.
Armes scored the first bucket of the second half to make it 31-24, but it was all Walters State after that. A 15-0 run following that bucket extended the lead to 46-24, and the Lady Senators took a 50-30 lead into the fourth.
Walters State scored the first 8 points of the final frame and pushed the lead to 67-35 by the midway point of the frame with a 17-5 run. The Lady Senators cruised from there to its third win in four tries at home this season.
Walters State shot 54.4 percent (31 of 53) from the field in the win, making 2 of 5 from distance and 15 of 16 from the foul line. The Lady Senators also held a 35-27 rebounding advantage while forcing 19 Roane State turnovers in the contest. Mendjiadeu notched a double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds in the win, while Esmon was solid across the board with 23 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Jamya Rogers added 11 points, while Jalayah Manning contributed 6 points and 7 assists, and Brianna Dixon added 7 assists in the win.
Roane State shot just 32.1 percent (17 of 53) from the field, making 2 of 12 on 3-point attempts and 7 of 13 on free throws. Appiah-Kubi led the Lady Raiders with a dozen points, while Armes tallied 10 in the loss. Roane State's starters scored just 10 points in the defeat.
The Lady Senators will be back on the road after Thanksgiving, taking part in the Georgia Highlands Thanksgiving Classic in Rome, Georgia, playing against a pair of ranked teams. WSCC will take on No. 2 Northwest Florida State (5-0) on Friday at 6 p.m. before facing the 18th ranked host Lady Chargers (3-1) on Saturday at 6 p.m. as well. The Lady Senators defeated Georgia Highlands, 69-55, on Nov. 2 in the season opener for both teams.