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January 4, 2014

WALLACE STATE BASKETBALL: Lady Lions extend win streak to 9 games with latest rout

HANCEVILLE — Wallace State’s women’s basketball team opened 2014 in the same dominant fashion it handled most of its games in November and December.

The Lady Lions nailed 14 3-pointers and used a suffocating defense to roll to a 74-42 victory over Wallace-Selma in Friday’s opening game of the Comfort Suites New Year’s Tip-Off. Wallace State (13-2) won its ninth game in a row, holding  an opponent to under 50 points for the sixth time this season.

The Lady Lions are enjoying one of their hottest stretches in recent years, mainly because of their quality depth. Wallace State didn’t miss a beat with either the starters or the reserves.

Eleven Lady Lions scored against Wallace-Selma on Friday, including seven who scored six points or more.

“We are probably 11 deep who I can depend on in a pressure situation. That is huge for us. It may not show in the box score, but come February, we’ll have fresh legs when other teams may not. I don’t really think we’ll see the dividends of our depth until we near the end of February and into the conference tournament,” said Wallace State third-year coach Ron Burdette, whose team also won a pair of games earlier this week in Memphis against Southwest Tennessee and Three Rivers (Mo.).  

Morgan Smith and Brandee Busenlehner paced the way for Wallace State against the Lady Patriots, each scoring 12 points. Busenlehner picked up all 12 of her points in the first half.

Sophomore Morgan Pearson scored 10 points off the bench, Amber Carey added nine, draining three 3’s, Haven Albright scored seven, and BreAnna Thompson and DeAndrea Carter scored six points apiece.

Wallace State imposed its will on Wallace-Selma over the final 11:54 of the first half, utilizing a 27-7 run to turn a three-point lead into a 41-18 halftime advantage. Carey and Albright got the impressive surge started with 3-pointers each on consecutive possessions, Busenlehner scored five straight points and Pearson added a 3. Later in the run, Smith drilled 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, extending  Wallace State’s lead to 38-18, and Snowden followed with a trey of her own to cap the run.

“We didn’t come out as crisp and weren’t working the ball against their zone like we normally do, but we settled down,” Burdette said. “We know we’re a good shooting team and know shots are going to fall.”   

Wallace-Selma never threatened the rest of the way. Jaminesha Caver led the Lady Patriots with 20 points.

Wallace State, which is perfect at home this season, will travel to Birmingham on Monday to play Birmingham Southern’s junior varsity team.

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