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Senators drop road contest at Cleveland State
 February 14, 2013

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – The Walters State Senators fell behind from the start and never had an answer for the Cleveland State Cougars Wednesday in an 88-62 loss to their Tennessee Community College Athletic Association rivals inside L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium.

The Cougars quickly built a double-digit lead and never let it dip below 10 after that, taking a 20-point halftime lead and holding off an early second half rally by the Senators before pulling away.

With the win, Cleveland State improves to 13-8 on the year and 7-6 in TCCAA play. The loss drops Walters State to 12-15 overall and 6-10 in league action.

The Senators briefly tied the game early, but never took the lead. The Cougars used the 3-point shot to build their early lead, and despite only having eight players in uniform, they were the more energetic team from the opening tip.

Cleveland State led 8-2 early and built the lead to 18-11 less than five minutes in, and Gabe Dando hit four 3-pointers to help push the lead to 41-21. The Senators showed signs of life and cut the margin to 41-29 with an 8-0 run, but the Cougars had an 8-0 run of their own to end the half with a 49-29 lead.

Walters State opened the second half by going to Elgrin Wilson and Leland Robinson to cut the margin to 56-44with 13:44 left, but it went down hill in a hurry from there for the Senators.

Dando continued to have the hot hand and hit three more treys in the second half, and Trey Suttles had a huge night inside with Ralph Eason dishing out 12 assists in the win.

The Cougars finished the night shooting a sizzling 60 percent (33 of 55) from the field, including 11 of 24 from long range. Cleveland State committed only eight turnovers and outrebounded the Senators, 29-26.

Dando led the Cougars with 21 points, while Suttles added 16 and Eason had 13 points to record a double-double with his dozen dimes. Xavier Okoro added 13 points and Filipe Conclaves tallied 12 in the win.

The Senators shot 42.6 percent (23 of 54) from the field and committed 13 turnovers that led to 18 points for the home team. Robinson and Cedarius Taylor led Walters State with 16 points each, while Darius White and Wilson had 10 points each and Wilson added 10 boards for a double-double.

The Senators will return to the hardwood Saturday when they host TCCAA rival Chattanooga State inside ‘Z’ Buda Gymnasium for Sophomore Day. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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