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Senators knock off Cleveland State, 62-53
 January 16, 2013

MORRSITOWN, Tenn. – It wasn’t the prettiest or most efficient game of the season for the Walters State Senators Tuesday, but collecting a win over Tennessee Community College Athletic Association rival Cleveland State was sweet.
The Senators allowed only 16 points in the second half, using their defense to pull away from a tie game at the half to win 62-53 over the Cougars inside ‘Z’ Buda Gymnasium.

With the win, Walters State improves to 9-9 overall and 4-4 in TCCAA play, while the loss drops Cleveland State to 10-5 and 5-3.

The Senators blazed out to a fast start, building a 12-3 lead in the opening four minutes before the Cougars began to come back.

Cleveland State had the lead cut to 18-14 at the midway point of the half, and they used a 12-6 spurt to take their first lead at 26-24 with 4:58 left in the frame. The Cougars led by as many as five points late in the half, but Leland Robinson helped pull Walters State even at 37 by halftime.

The Senators shot 45.7 percent (16 of 35) in the half, including 2 of 5 from long distance, while making three of their four attempts at the free throw line. WSCC only had three turnovers, which helped them overcome a 23-12 deficit on the boards.

Robinson tossed in 10 points and Elgrin Wilson added eight in the first half to lead the Senators.

The Cougars shot 48.4 percent (15 of 31) in the opening 20 minutes, but committed 10 turnovers. Filipe Goncalves led Cleveland had 12 points and Ralph Eason had 11 points in the frame.

The Cougars led five minutes into the second half, 40-39, but they never could pull away. After seeing their lead reach 52-47 with 6:48 to go, Cleveland State was silenced by the Walters State defense.

The Senators allowed only one point from that point on, scoring 15 points of their own to pull away for the victory. The Cougars missed their final 13 shot attempts in the loss.

Walters State ended the night shooting 40 percent (24 of 60) from the field, including 3 of 8 from the 3-point line, and they made 11 of 14 from the free throw stripe. The Senators also committed a season-low seven turnovers while dishing out 15 assists.

Wilson (eight rebounds) and Robinson both tossed in 16 points to lead Walters State, while Tyler Ailshie added nine points in the win.

Cleveland State shot just 32.8 percent (22 of 67) in the contest, and they made just 3 of 26 (11.5 percent) from behind the 3-point line in the loss. They misfired on all 16 attempts from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes, and they made only 2 of 10 at the free throw line in the half. They finished the contest shooting just 33.3 percent (6 of 18) from the charity stripe.

Eason had 13 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Cougars, while Goncalves finished with 12 points and Trey Suttles recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards in the loss.

The Senators will be back in action Saturday on the road at TCCAA rival Chattanooga State. Tipoff time is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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