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Walters State's coach Bill Carlyle picks up win No. 1,000
 November 9, 2013

HARRIMAN, Tenn. – If all wins were as hard as Saturday night’s victory at Roane State, Walters State coach Bill Carlyle would probably be in another business.

The Senators battled a tough Raiders squad for 40 minutes, trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half and had four technical fouls called on them, but in the end, WSCC prevailed 80-74 in their first road game of the season to hand Carlyle his 1,000th career coaching victory.

The milestone victory was a long time coming for the NJCAA and TCCAA Hall of Fame coach, who had most of his family in attendance for the win.

“This is a great honor and achievement, and I’m humbled to be a part of something this big,” Carlyle said. “I got in this business to help kids in the game of basketball, and I never envisioned 1,000 wins in my career. It speaks to the quality young men and women I have coached in my career, because without great players and great teams, honors like this just don’t happen.”

Carlyle said he was proud of the way his team responded to adversity throughout the game as well, especially late when they scored the final 10 points of the game.

“The kids kept battling and did the things they needed to do to get the win,” Carlyle said. “Brandon Walters made some big time plays late and hit some free throws to give us the lead before getting the big steal and dunk at the end.”

The Senators got off to a fast start, building a 9-2 lead with Dominique Harper scoring five early points, but the Raiders came storming back.

Behind nine points each from CJ Foster and Tres Palmer, Roane State claimed a 20-17 lead by the midway point of the first half, and they led by as many as nine in the opening half.

Walters State rallied late with a couple buckets to trim the lead to only three, but they faced a 41-36 deficit at halftime.

The Senators trailed despite shooting 50 percent (13 of 26) from the field in the first half, but misfired on all four 3-pointers. WSCC also had nine turnovers but outrebounded the home team 24-13.

Harper led the Senators with eight points in the first half, while Aaron Wheeler pumped in seven and Brandon Walters had six.

The Raiders shot 37.5 percent (12 of 32) in the first half, but five made 3-pointers were the difference.

Roane State built on the lead in the opening five minutes of the second half on buckets from Rod Drummond and Greg Murphy to take a 57-43 lead with 14:47 left in the game.

The Senators offense got on a roll after a timeout by Carlyle, and they put together a 19-7 run capped by a layup from Denard Williams that trimmed the deficit to 64-62 with 5:45 on the clock.

Walters State finally pulled even in the final four minutes, as Harper banked in a 25-footer then hit nothing but net from 3-point range on the next trip to knot the score at 69 with 3:03 remaining.

Murphy hit a runner in the lane to put the Raiders back on top, and Cameron Porter hit a reverse layup for a 74-70 lead with 1:45 remaining. Troy Gibbs hit a layup and Wheeler added a free throw to cut the margin to a single point, and Walters hit a layup to put the Senators up 75-74 with 47.1 left.

Cordell James added a free throw with 10.5 left on the clock, and Walters hit a pair of free tosses just seconds later to stretch the lead to 78-74. Walters followed with a steal and a slam to provide the final score.

Harper continued his torrid start to the season with 26 points and 11 rebounds, including 18 points in the second half. Walters ended the night with 18 points, while Wheeler dropped in 11 in the win.

Porter paced Roane State with 21 points, while Palmer (13), Foster (11) and Murphy (10) all reached double digits in the loss.

The Senators will be back in action on Monday when they travel to Elizabethton to take on Milligan. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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