HANCEVILLE – Sophomore guard Jaylen McCoy scored a season-high 25 points, Desmian Devane added 11 points and Wallace State’s men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to five games on Saturday, beating East Mississippi 72-69 at Tom Drake Coliseum.
Wallace State avenged a double-digit November loss to East Mississippi by overcoming a 10-point deficit in the first half on Saturday and a 34-29 halftime deficit.
“I’m proud of the team for fighting and battling back for the win. They’ve been taking exams this week and focusing on finishing the semester strong, so it hasn’t been a normal week,” said Wallace State coach John Meeks. “We had an ugly loss to East Mississippi at its place and wanted another shot. We were able to beat a good team. I hope it gives us some confidence going forward.”
Wallace State (6-6) seized control late. With the game tied at 55-55 with 5:31 to go, Devane drained a 3-pointer from the right corner for the Lions, giving Wallace State a 58-55 edge.
McCoy’s layup pushed the lead to 60-55 on Wallace State’s following possession, and the Montgomery native hit four free throws in row over the next two minutes to extend the Lions’ advantage to 64-57.
Wallace State’s Zach Allison added a late bucket for a 66-59 lead – the Lions biggest of the game.
McCoy, one of two returning sophomores on Wallace State (6-6), scored 10 of his 25 points from the charity stripe.
“Jaylen is one of our leaders, and we need him. I challenged him at halftime to step up, and he definitely did in the second half,” Meeks said.
Hunter Davis contributed 10 points off the Wallace State bench, Jarrett Thompson had 10 points, Rashawn Green scored eight points and Allison added six.
David McFarland led East Mississippi in the loss with 20 points. Carlos Thomas added 12 points and Josh Skinner had 10.
The game was tied at 11-11 with 14:16 remaining in the first half before East Mississippi reeled off a 10-0 run for a 21-11 cushion.
Wallace State chipped away and grabbed a brief 24-23 lead with 6:31 to go before the break.
Mitch Storm regained the lead East Mississippi with a jumper and the Mississippi-based Lions led by five points at intermission.
Wallace State travels to Birmingham on Monday to play Birmingham-Southern’s JV. The Lions head to North Carolina on Thursday to compete in the three-day Brunswick Community College Holiday Classic.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit www.athletics.wallacestate.edu.