MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Chattanooga State used a 21-7 run late in the second half to pull away from the Walters State Senators as the Tigers claimed an 82-71 conference win Wednesday night at 'Z' Buda Gymnasium.
The biggest stat in the game was the bench scoring as the Tigers won that category 61-18. In fact, no Chattanooga State starter reached double figures in the game. Lorenzo Ferrell (18 points), Richard Nunez (16 points) and Josh Conrad's (14) points all came off the bench as reserves to lead the visiting Tigers. Damarius Boyd scored 22 to lead the Senators and Kobe Powell added 14 points.
Chattanooga State breaks a long losing streak to move to 8-11 and evens their conference record at 5-5. The Senators fall to 13-8 overall and 6-4 in league play.
Veteran Senators' coach Bill Carlyle said his team continues to baffle him. "I don't even know this team really. This is the same team that went to Roane State and played great. We have no inside game at all and we just played terrible. Chattanooga had won one game out of their last nine and now they have won two. We just have no fire."
Cold shooting by his team and the exact opposite by the Tigers spelled disaster for his squad Carlyle said. "They shot 50 percent (28-of-56) for the game and 43 percent (13-of-30) from three so we didn't defend anybody. We couldn't defend them man-to-man as we had a couple of our guys get in foul trouble so we had to go to the zone and we couldn't zone them. We just aren't a very good basketball team right now."
The Tigers found success early on and built a 22-14 lead on Everette Wilson's dunk at the 6:51 mark. After the Senators found themselves down by 10 points at 28-18, something clicked and they had success on the offensive end as Izayel Pierre had a steal and layup, Sly Thompson scored four points and Demarius Boyd closed out the first half with two three-pointers to pull the home team to within a point at the mid-game break, 32-31.
The beginning of the second half saw the Senators have success as Kobe Powell scored seven points in a row to tie the game at 40-40. Another burst by Walters State a little later allowed them to take the lead at 52-50 when Jermize Weddle connected on a downtown shot to cap six straight points by the home team.
The Senators trailed by only a point at 60-59 when Chattanooga State reeled off nine points in a row that was part of a larger 21-7 outburst. There were five three-pointers in the run and the Senators found themselves down 75-61 with three and half minutes remaining. Walters State made things interesting late as Powell scored a basket, Boyd hit two free throws and Paris Taylor scored on a rebound shot to make the score 78-71, but the Tigers connected on their free throws in the final minute and a half to secure the win.
A lack of depth and size is causing the Senators major problems right now according to Carlyle. "Personnel wise, we are struggling. We are down to about 10 guys and the ones we have don't have any size but they are usually pretty good shooters. But they didn't shoot it very well tonight. What they have to do is do a better job getting to the hole and rebounding."
The Senators travel to Columbia State on Saturday for a tilt against the Chargers at 5 p.m. "I have to get back to the drawing board to come up with a rotation for our team," Carlyle concluded.