Wallace State women’s basketball tunes up for ACCC play with convincing win over Columbia State | The Cullman Tribune

Wallace State women’s basketball tunes up for ACCC play with convincing win over Columbia State

HANCEVILLE – Wallace State’s women’s basketball team posted its most dominant effort of the season on Tuesday, rolling past Columbia State 71-45 at Tom Drake Coliseum.

The Lady Lions marched out to a 20-2 cushion at the end of the first quarter and didn’t yield a field goal until the 5:55 mark in the second. Wallace State, which forced three shot-clock violations in the first half, led 38-9 at the break in a final tune-up before conference play begins next week.

“I thought the first 20 minutes we played about as well as we could play defensively. I don’t care what level of basketball you are playing, if you hold a team to nine points, you are playing solid defense,” said Wallace State women’s coach Ron Burdette, who led the Lady Lions to the NJCAA Division I national tournament last season.

Velencia Johnson, a Hoover grad, led Wallace State with 14 points and Hannah Vest pitched in with 12 points. Khadijah Jordan added nine points for the Lady Lions, Kelsey Houston had eight off the bench and Janese Richardson added seven. 

Wallace State (6-11) had 11 players crack the scoring column, and the team drained eight 3-pointers.

The Lady Lions, who feature only one sophomore, finished the first half of the season in Memphis with a win against Southwest Tennessee CC on Dec. 30. Wallace State carried that momentum into Tuesday, and Burdette believes his young squad is prepared to tackle the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) grind, which begins Jan. 12 at home against Gadsden State.

“I think everyone is growing up a bit. We have eight or nine players who’ve got it and others who are showing flashes of getting it. It’s been a long 60 days, and we’ve taken some lumps along the way,” Burdette said. “I thought we grew up in Memphis and more today, so I think we are about as ready as we can be heading into conference play.”

Wallace State raced out to a fast 15-0 advantage in the first quarter behind six different scorers, and an Alex Lowery layup handed the Lady Lions a 20-1 lead with 1:11 remaining in the period.

Stymied by Wallace State’s defense, Columbia State managed to hit only a pair of free throws in the first quarter. Wallace State also forced shot clock violations on consecutive possessions in the period.  

Johnson scored seven of her 14 points in the second quarter, helping Wallace State maintain a halftime 38-9 lead. Columbia State was held without a field goal until 5:55 remained before the half. Layken Comen converted a 3-point play to end the dry spell for the Lady Chargers.

Wallace State led 54-28 after the third quarter.

For Columbia State, Nechelle Turner led the way with a game-high 15 points.

Tuesday marked Wallace State’s first home game since Dec. 5.

For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit athletics.wallacestate.edu.