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Second half surge pushes Vol State past Senators, 81-63
 December 9, 2012

GALLATIN, Tenn. — Friday night, the Walters State Senators took a halftime lead into the locker room on the road against a Tennessee Community College Athletic Association rival only to lose by double digits. Saturday, the script was the same.The Senators (7-8, 3-4 TCCAA) took a 39-38 lead at halftime over the Volunteer State Pioneers (8-3, 4-3) but could not hold on, as the home team rallied for an 81-63 victory in TCCAA action.

The game was nearly a mirror image of Friday’s loss at Motlow, only with a higher score. Walters State had a decent showing from the field in the first half, but went cold in the final 20 minutes while Vol State rallied behind hot shooting in the second half.

Both teams shot 41.7 percent (15 of 36) from the field in the first half, and Walters State took the slim halftime lead by hitting two more 3-pointers in the opening half than did the Pioneers. Each team also shot five free throws, with Vol State making five and the Senators connecting on four.

The second half was all Pioneers, as they built up a double-digit lead less than eight minutes into the frame. The lead stood at 69-57 with 12:05 to play, and Walters State had life until a closing 14-6 run by Vol State put the game way. The lead topped out at 20 before a late bucket by the Senators provided the final score.

The Pioneers shot 54.2 percent (13 of 24) in the second half to finish the night shooting 46.7 percent (28 of 60) from the field. They knocked down 7 of 24 from behind the 3-point line and also drained 18 of 22 from the free throw stripe.

Alex Marzette led Vol State with 16 points in the win, while Barry Robertson added 14. Thomas Wright recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Joe Wilbert and Martiz Harris both added 10 points in the victory.

Walters State ended the contest shooting 35.4 percent (23 of 65) from the field after making only 27.6 percent (8 of 29) of their shots in the second half. They also struggled at the charity stripe, making just 12 of 22 (54.5 percent) of their free tosses.

Darius White led the Senators with 15 points, while Elgrin Wilson added 13 in the contest. Leland Robinson tallied eight points and eight rebounds, and Tony Wilkerson, who did not play against Motlow State, dished out six assists in the defeat.

Saturday’s game was the last pre-Christmas game for the Walters State men. The Senators will return to the hardwood on Thursday, Jan. 10, when they play the Maryville College JV team on the road.

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