Walters State Community College races past Tyler JC, 71-63
LUBBOCK, Texas – Shaliaya Fluker, the single-season record holder for points in a game at Walters State Community College, poured in a tournament-best 33 points, including five three-pointers, as the No. 14 seed Lady Senators got off to a big lead early and held off 19th-seed Tyler Junior College, 71-63, in the opening round of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Rip Griffin Center.
Gazmyne Herndon, Martoria Patton and Dajah Montgomery added 10 points each for the Lady Senators (26-6), who advance to face No. 3 seed Chipola College (27-4) at 5 p.m. on Wednesday in the Round of 16. It is the sixth straight appearance at the national tournament for Walters State, which lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Gulf Coast State last season.
Walters State used a 11-2 run over the final three minutes of the first quarter to create some distance and lead 21-11 at the end of the first period. Tyler (24-9) stayed within striking distance but could never completely close the gap, and a 13-2 run in the middle of the second quarter gave Walters State a commanding 39-23 lead with just over two minutes left in the first half.
The Apaches managed to close the gap to four with 2:26 to play at 64-60, but Walters State scored seven of the final 10 points of the game to secure the win.
Walters State’s defense clamped down on Tyler’s shooters, holding the Apaches to just 30 percent (21 of 70) from the field and just 25 percent (4 of 16) from three-point range.
The Lady Senators weren’t much better, hitting on 41.9 percent from the field (26 of 62), but were much better from beyond the arc, hitting 46.2 percent (6 of 13). Walter’ ball movement also created problems for Tyler as the Lady Senators racked up 19 assists.
Tyler, however, countered with its height, recording 10 blocked shots while pulling down 22 offensive rebounds and getting 18 second-chance points off those boards.
Sky’lynn Holmes led Tyler Junior College with 23 points and 20 rebounds while Nautica Grant added 11 points.
Tyler Junior College was one of three teams from Region XIV to make it to the tournament, earning and at-large berth. San Jacinto-North, also from Region XIV, fell in the first round as well.