HANCEVILLE — Courtnei Bowens and Tom Drake Coliseum have a long history together.

After Bowens’ big night Tuesday, that history will have at least one more chapter.

Bowens scored 21 points and grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds as Wallace State-Hanceville advanced to the semifinals of the ACCC Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament by beating Wallace State-Selma 78-72 on the Lions’ home court.

Tuesday’s big win wasn’t the first for Bowens at the Drake, where the Lions guard won four AHSAA Northwest Regional titles as a prep standout with Deshler. Now a leader for Wallace State-Hanceville, Bowens wasn’t about to let home-court advantage go to waste.

“It’s all about pride and believing,” said Bowens, who added three steals and three assists. “We don’t want to lose on our home floor, we want to make it all the way to the championship game.”

The Lions (17-9) face Shelton State today at 4 p.m. in the semifinals. The Buccaneers — the No. 1 seed out of the ACCC’s Northern Division — advanced with a 74-60 win over Lawson State.

“We’ve stepped it up and really played great the last two ballgames,” said Lions coach Larry Slater. “Getting to sleep in your own bed is a big advantage.”

Wallace State-Hanceville scored the first 14 points, holding the Patriots scoreless until Sher’Ryan Scott’s jumper made it 14-2 with 14 minutes left in the half.

Wallace State-Selma chipped away slowly at the deficit, cutting it to 23-22 with six minutes left. The Patriots took their first lead with 33 seconds remaining in the half and took a 35-32 advantage into the break.

“We came out still carrying confidence from last night,” Slater said of Monday’s 97-78 win over Faulkner State in the first round. “And the other thing is that tonight was (Wallace State-Selma’s) first time out on this floor.”

The teams traded baskets throughout the second half before Wallace State-Selma’s Shaina O’Neal fouled out with two minutes to play. The Patriots freshman received a technical on the play, giving the Lions four free throws and the ball.

The hosts made 11 of 16 free throws over the final two minutes to ice it.

“Once we got the lead with about three minutes to go, I felt pretty confident we could hit some free throws and put this thing away,” said Slater, whose team finished 30-for-37 at the free throw line.

Courtney Scott tossed in 17 points for Wallace State-Hanceville, while Andrea Crawford finished with 12 on 7-for-8 free throw shooting. Jamie Lack added 10 points.

Sher’Ryan Scott led Wallace State-Selma with 21 points, Vinecia Dudley tossed in 16 and Sivon Pugh added 12.

‰ Michael Cummings can be reached by e-mail at michaelc@cullmantimes.com or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 258.

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