HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Sophomore Imari Martin had already etched her spot among the top players in Wallace State women’s basketball history prior to Sunday’s game against Southern Union.
She added to the docket on Sunday, surpassing the 1,000-point mark in less than two full seasons with the Lady Lions. Martin scored a game-high 34 points in a 91-51 victory, highlighting a doubleheader sweep over Southern Union at Tom Drake Coliseum on sophomore day.
Martin entered the game needing 33 points to reach the 1,000-point mark. The Hazel Green product scored 20 of her 34 points in the second half, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Her layup with less than 20 seconds remaining sealed the historic basket. Martin’s the first Lady Lion to reach the 1,000-point mark since Tamika Dukes during the 2005-06 season.
“It’s a hard and impressive feat, especially in junior college basketball. We knew Imari would reach the milestone this week, and she turned it on in the second half. Imari’s an unselfish player and you can see that by her leading the conference in assists. She plays the game the right way and is an absolute joy to coach. I’m extremely proud of her,” said Wallace State women’s coach Jessica McBrayer.
Martin, a four-time Alabama Community College Player of the Week, leads the conference in both points (22.8 per game) and assists (5.2). She also averages five rebounds per game.
Martin made five 3-pointers in Sunday’s win, adding four steals and three assists. While enjoying a comfortable fourth-quarter cushion, Martin’s teammates made sure she had the ball throughout the fourth quarter.
“It’s very exciting to me. It wouldn’t be possible if not for my teammates trusting in me to take big shots and my coaches calling plays for me,” Martin said. “I love playing for this team. We have a great bond on and off the court, and that helps everyone.”
The 20th-ranked Lady Lions improved to 21-4 on the season and to 7-1 in the conference. Wallace State has already secured a first-round bye at next month’s conference tournament.
Freshman Jiselle Woodson finished with 19 points and five assists for Wallace State, Tawana Nevels had 11 points and eight rebounds, and Kyra Williams contributed 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Martin, Nevels, Williams, Jasmine Baker, Ivy Fowler and Cherelle Straughter were each recognized prior to the game on sophomore day.
Wallace State 77, Southern Union 59
Wallace State’s men put together an impressive second half vs. Southern Union, keeping pace in the ACCC North for a postseason bye.
Juwan Johnson and Kendall Cotner each registered a double-double for the Lions. Johnson finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Kendall Cotner had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Eugene Leonard had 12 points for Wallace State, Kuran Garner finished with nine points, six rebounds and four steals, and Chris Gregory had four points, six rebounds and five assists.
Wallace State (16-12, 7-5 ACCC) outscored the Bison 42-24 in the second half after clinging to a 35-34 edge at intermission.
Sophomores for the men this season are Johnson, Christopher Sampson, McLeon Charles and Markise Davis.
Both Wallace State teams have two regular-season games remaining. They’ll host Snead State on Thursday and Shelton State on Feb. 24.