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Wallace State's women stifle Faulkner State with strong 2nd-half defense
 December 14, 2013

HANCEVILLE – Wallace State’s women’s basketball team is establishing itself as a defensive stalwart. The Lady Lions held their fourth straight opponent to under 50 points Saturday afternoon, buckling down in the second half to roll to a 67-40 victory over Faulkner State at Tom Drake Coliseum.

The Lady Lions (9-2) capped a sweep for both Wallace State basketball teams after the men opened Saturday’s action with a 75-58 triumph against Georgia Highlands College.  

Wallace State’s women put together a defensive clinic in the second game, limiting Faulkner State to only 12 second-half points. Even more impressive behind the Lady Lions’ defensive effort was their ability to hold Faulkner State without a field goal until the 10:23 mark in second half. The Lady Sun Chiefs only managed one free throw by that point as well.

Wallace State’s stingy defensive effort turned a slim 29-28 halftime lead into another blowout.

“We’ve been winning so comfortably lately that sometimes you can get lazy and I thought we were somewhat lazy in the first half. We pointed out some things at halftime and said we knew our defense was going to take over once we got into a scoring rhythm offensively,” said Wallace State coach Ron Burdette, whose team has won five games in a row by an average of 35 points. “We came out in the second half and played some of our best defense of the year. We also got hot because we are a good shooting team, and that helped us pull away.”

Wallace State had three women finish with double figures. Ashley Rodgers scored a game-high 13 points off the bench and Brandee Bushenlehner and Hannah Sharpe each added 12 points.

Sharpe got Wallace State’s offense cranking in the second half, scoring 10 points in less than six minutes. The Red Bay native nailed a 3-pointer to open the half, followed with another 3 less than a minute later and added a pair of layups during her hot stretch to extend Wallace State’s advantage to 42-29 with 14:54 remaining in the game. 

“I always tell our team that one of the things I like is I don’t know whose day it’s going to be each game. Hannah Sharpe stepped up in the second half and had a great game,” Burdette said. “Her offense and our defense created that big buffer to begin the second half.”

Wallace State’s cushion was 50-29 before Faulkner State converted on its first second-half field goal, finally ending the drought on a Devan Cleveland 3-pointer with 10:23 left. Faulkner State managed only eight more points the rest of the way.

For Wallace State, BreAnna Thompson added eight points off the bench, while Morgan Pearson had seven.

Latreka Jenkins led Faulkner State in the loss with 10 points.

The Lady Lions host Alabama Southern at 4 p.m. Wednesday in their final home game before January.

“I’m very pleased with our team,” Burdette said. “We’ve got to finish the deal Wednesday and not worry about the holidays until after that game.”

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