ROME, Ga. — For the first time all season, ninth-ranked Walters State was held below 55 points in a game Friday night, as second-ranked Northwest Florida State collected a 58-35 victory over the Lady Senators on the opening day of the Lady Charger Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Georgia Highlands College.
The Lady Raiders (6-0) put three players in double figures and shot nearly 50 percent in the contest, while the Lady Senators (5-2) were limited to less than 23 percent shooting, their worst outing of the season.
Northwest Florida State rolled up a 28-14 lead by halftime and had held the Lady Senators to just 21 points through three quarters before Walters State scored 14 points in the final 10 minutes.
The Lady Raiders finished the night shooting 49 percent (25 of 51) from the field, making only 3 of 15 from long range and 5 of 10 at the free throw line, and they held a 40-27 edge in rebounding. Awa Trasi and Jaiden McCoy both had a dozen points for Northwest Florida State, while Cece Mayo added 10 in the win.
Walters State shot just 22.9 percent (11 of 48) from the floor on the night, making 3 of 19 from beyond the 3-point arc and 10 of 12 at the charity stripe. Zacharyia Esmon had 17 points to lead the Lady Senators, while Diamond Forrest had 6 points in the loss.
Walters State will take on host Georgia Highlands Saturday night at 6 p.m. in the tournament's finale. The Lady Senators defeated the 18th ranked Lady Chargers 69-55 in the season opener on Nov. 2.