CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

January 4, 2014

WALLACE STATE HOOPS: Johnson, Lewis propel Lions to 6th straight win


Wallace State Media Relations

HANCEVILLE —

Wallace State’s men’s basketball team capped off the first Comfort Suites New Year’s Tip-Off with a 76-64 triumph over Wallace-Selma at Tom Drake Coliseum Saturday night.

The Lions' sophomore guards Marcus Johnson and Jestin Lewis put on a show, combining for more than half of the team’s offense. Johnson led the way with a game-high 24 points, and Lewis added 21 points, helping Wallace State (13-4) win its sixth consecutive game.

Among the wins during their winning streak, the Lions have notched impressive tournament victories against Cape Fear (N.C.), Brunswick (N.C.) and USC-Salkehatchie.

Wallace State’s men’s coach John Meeks feels his team is prepared for conference play, which begins on Jan. 13 versus Marion Military.

“You use games like tonight (Saturday) the best way you can in order to tune up for the conference grind. It’s hard not to look forward to the conference schedule. It’s hard not to get that itch,” Meeks said. “We didn’t play as well as we should have against Wallace-Selma. We watched them lose handily the night before and thought we could roll over them. That didn’t happen, so I hope that serves as a lesson for us.”

The game was tied 8-8 with 11:11 remaining in the first half before Wallace State grabbed control. The Lions constructed an 18-4 run over the next five minutes, reclaiming the lead and pushing their cushion to 26-12 at the 6:03 mark. Wallace State led 35-23 at the break.

Lion sophomore forward Quinterian McConico had an impressive run of his own in the opening minutes of the second half. The Woodlawn product scored his first bucket with 15:56 remaining in the game, extending Wallace State’s lead to 44-29. McConico followed with seven consecutive points for the Lions — accounting for all nine of his points — and pushed the lead to 51-34 with 13:16 left.

Wallace-Selma trimmed the deficit to as little as nine points in the closing seconds, but Lewis extended it back to double digits with four free throws.

Lee Moore and Cody Farley contributed seven points apiece for Wallace State.

Kerry Mitchell led Wallace-Selma in the loss with 12 points. Darrell Strozier added seven.

Wallace State opened its play in the tournament Friday by pounding USC-Salkehatchie 70-45.

The Lions will travel to Northeast Mississippi on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.