TUSCALOSSA, Ala. — It was Walters State's second shot at No. 11 Shelton State, but the game went much like the first. The Bucs charged out to an early lead and survived a third-quarter rally to take down the Lady Senators 74-58 Saturday at the Shelton State New Year's Classic.
Walters State (9-7) and Shelton State previously met up on Nov. 2 in the Lady Senators Tip-Off Classic at 'Z' Buda Gymnasium. The Bucs won that game 77-52. The loss Saturday is the third in a row for WSCC, all to ranked NJCAA Division I and Division II teams.
A slow start put the Lady Senators behind early as Shelton State opened the game on a 12-4 run. Walters State was held to just two field goals for nearly five minutes to open the game until Blayre Shultz nailed a three with 5:05 on the clock.
Latora Duff responded with a three of her own for the Bucs that rebuilt the eight-point lead a minute later, but the Lady Senators defense would hold them to just two more points over the frame's final four minutes. WSCC trailed 17-13 after one.
While the defense continued to show up against Shelton State, the offense went cold, putting in just 11 points in the second period. The Bucs took a 35-24 lead into the locker room.
Walters State came out of the locker room hot, outscoring the Bucs 20-14 in the third to pull within five points, but a 7-0 run from Shelton State in the fourth's first two minutes built a solid cushion the Lady Senators couldn't penetrate.
The Bucs got 20 points for LaTascya Duff and a double-double from Thaniya Marks, who scored 11 with 10 rebounds.
ROAD TO 1,000
With three consecutive losses to open 2020 play, Walters State women's basketball coach Dave Kragel's career victories mark remains at 998, two away from 1,000.
The Lady Senators finally return home to the friendly confines of 'Z' Buda Gymnasium Saturday when they host TCCAA rival Southwest Tennessee Community College at 2 p.m.