Baker’s game-winning layup sends No. 19 Wallace State women into Friday’s ACCC Tournament championship game

Wallace State sophomore guard Jasmine Baker scored the game-winning bucket in Thursday’s victory over Chattahoochee Valley Community College at the ACCC Tournament. (Alabama Community College Conference)

HANCEVILLE, ALA. –  Sophomore Jasmine Baker’s layup with 31.3 seconds remaining lifted Wallace State’s 19th-ranked women’s basketball team to a 59-57 victory over Chattahoochee Valley CC on Thursday at Shelton State’s Umphrey Center, punching the Lady Lions’ ticket into the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) Tournament championship game for the first time in four years.

Wallace State (24-5) will play No. 4 Shelton State in the title game on Friday at 4 p.m., seeking its first conference tournament title since 2011.

Wallace State, the North Division’s No. 2 seed, redeemed recent semifinal demons against the Lady Pirates in thrilling fashion. After losing to Chattahoochee Valley in overtime the past two postseasons, Wallace State never trailed on Thursday.

However, when Wallace State sustained a comfortable lead, the Lady Pirates charged back, tying it up on three occasions.

Baker’s game-winning bucket and a subsequent steal thwarted any chance for a fourth tie.

“Our sophomores came up huge and played hard. I’m very proud of them. We didn’t talk much about what had happened the past two seasons, but I think we were a little tight early because of that. It was nice to win the game in regulation and not have to worry about overtime this year,” said Wallace State coach Jessica McBrayer. “Our experience paid dividends in this game. It’s sweet to get back to the championship game.”

Wallace State led 49-39 with 9:18 to go after a Kyra Williams bucket. It matched the Lady Lions’ largest lead of the game.  

CVCC chipped away over the next eight minutes, and Destanee Wright’s layup with a minute remaining tied the game at 57.

After a timeout, Baker put in the winning bucket after a nice assist in the paint from Tawana Nevels.

Baker forced a CVCC turnover over on its next possession and the Lady Lions held on.

Imari Martin, the 2019-2020 ACCC Player of the Year, finished with 20 points and five rebounds for the Lady Lions. Jiselle Woodson had 15 points and six rebounds and Williams added 13 points and six rebounds. Baker contributed five points and six rebounds.

For CVCC, Wright and Nia Allen scored 12 points apiece.

Wallace State scooted out to a 9-0 advantage to open the game, earning points from Woodson, Martin, Williams and Baker. The Lady Lions led 18-12 after the first quarter.

Wallace State extended its advantage to 34-28 at halftime and pushed it to 45-39 after three stanzas.

The Lady Lions dropped a pair of games to Shelton State during the regular season.

“The whole point of the season is to get to the last game of the ACCC Tournament and see what you can do. We’re excited to have another crack and them. This is the game you want to win,” McBrayer said.

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