MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Walters State women's basketball coach Dave Kragel collected his 975th career coaching victory Wednesday night as his Lady Senators grabbed a 70-55 victory over visiting Cleveland State inside 'Z' Buda Gymnasium in Tennessee Community College Athletic Association play.
Walters State trailed early in the contest before taking the lead late in the first quarter and holding it the rest of the way in collecting its 153rd win in its last 154 TCCAA games.
The Lady Senators also picked up their fourth straight win and 10th victory in their last 12 contests in improving to 15-4 on the year and 7-0 in TCCAA play.
The loss dropped the Lady Cougars to 5-10 on the campaign and 3-4 in league games.
Cleveland State held a 9-4 advantage midway through the first period before the Lady Senators rebounded and took a 16-15 lead on a jumper by Diamond Forrest. WSCC never trailed again, leading 21-19 after one quarter and pushing that advantage to as much as 14 in the second frame before taking a 42-31 lead into halftime.
The Lady Cougars battled back in the third frame, outscoring the Lady Senators 15-11 in the 10-minute period to cut the margin to 53-46 heading into the fourth quarter. It was all Walters State from there, as the Lady Senators outscored Cleveland State 17-9 in the final 10 minutes to collect the 15-point victory.
Walters State shot 39.4 percent (26 of 66) from the field in the win, making 9 of 26 from long range and 9 of 12 at the charity stripe. The Lady Senators also held a 39-33 edge in rebounding, which included 20 offensive boards.
Forrest led WSCC with 16 points while also grabbing 6 rebounds in a reserve role, while Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu notched another double-double in region action with 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, including 9 offensive board.
Zacharyia Esmon added 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and a pair of blocks, while Alexis Trice recorded two career-highs with 13 points and 7 assists in the win. Jamya Rogers added 7 points, while Derrinesha Jackson and Brianna Dixon both tallied 3 points in the contest.
The Lady Cougars were limited to 38.1 percent (24 of 63) shooting in the contest, including 7 of 21 from 3-point land, and they misfired on all four free throw attempts. The visitors also committed 26 turnovers against the TCCAA's top-ranked defense.
Hannah Phillips led Cleveland State with 20 points, including six 3-pointers, while Britnay Gore just missed a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Kaitlin Crump raked in 11 rebounds in the defeat.
The Lady Senators will hit the road Saturday heading to the Lookout City to take on Chattanooga State (10-5, 3-4 TCCAA) in a Region VII contest. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.