HANCEVILLE ? The defending state champion Wallace State women?s basketball team concluded the regular season at Lawson State Thursday night with another strong road victory, prevailing 69-54.
The Lady Lions now have more than a week to rest up before they seek back-to-back titles in the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) tournament, beginning March 4 at Shelton State.
Wallace State, the North Division?s second seed, will receive a first-round tournament bye and enter with a 20-8 record and 8-2 mark in the ACCC. Wallace State has won six out of seven games and 15 of 17.
?I?m very pleased with where we are at this point. Our girls have progressed nicely and understand what we want to do,? said first-year coach Ron Burdette. ?We?ve won 20 games, made a great run after Christmas and we?re ready to make another run at the tournament and do our best to repeat as champions.?
Wallace State?s only blemish in the conference was a pair of losses to rival Shelton State. Otherwise, the Lady Lions have defeated their league opponents by an average of 21 points.
In Thursday?s win, Wallace State sophomore Tacouya Allen resumed her impressive season, recording her 13th double-double of the season. The Anniston native had 15 points, 15 rebounds, six steals and five assists. Ashley Nance added 19 points for Wallace State, while Melissa Johnson had eight.
Allen, a 5-foot-7 forward, leads Wallace State in points (12.0), rebounds (10.8), assists and steals. She?s the conference?s leading rebounder and third leading scorer.
?Tacouya has put the team on her back as far as being a leader. She?s leading by example off the court, works hard every day in practice and has put up a double-double nearly every game lately,? Burdette said. ?Tacouya is probably one of the biggest reasons we?re in such a good position. We feed off her, and she cares about being a positive role model for Wallace State basketball. She does all you can ask of her.?
Nance, a Danville grad, is Wallace State?s second leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 11.9 points and 6.8 rebounds. Three-point specialist Haley Stewart, a Madison Academy grad, pours in 9.5 points per game.
Last season, Wallace State?s women reeled off four wins in four days at the ACCC Tournament, winning the championship as the North?s No. 3 seed and knocking off top-seeded Shelton State and Chattahoochee Valley CC along the way in Larry Slater?s final year. It was the program?s first state title since the 2002-03 season and sixth overall.
?I feel like this year is setting up a lot like last year. We hopefully can draw from last year?s experience with our sophomores and make another run,? said Burdette, a long-time WSCC assistant before earning the head gig. ?Our sophomores know how great it feels to cut down the nets and see all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears pay off.?
Meanwhile, the Wallace State men (15-14, 2-9 ACCC) begin tournament action on Wednesday, March 7, also playing at Shelton State.
Sophomore guard Jeremy McKay is Wallace State?s leading scorer (16.5 ppg), the second best mark in the conference. Jamalcolm Griffin adds 11.2 points per game.
For more information about the Wallace State athletics, visit wallacestate.edu.
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
1-866-350-9722 Direct line: 256-352-8443
Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu