Lions advance to 2nd round of NJCAA Tournament

By:
0
500
(WSCC)

HANCEVILLE, AL — A hot second half by the Wallace State Community College men’s basketball team put the Lions in the winners’ bracket after their first-round matchup Sunday, March 24, against No. 12 Lee College at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Men’s Basketball Championship being held in Hutchinson, Kan., this week.

The Lions (No. 21) were down by two points heading into the second half but outscored the Navigators 38-24 in those final 12 minutes to win the game 76-64. The squad dominated in the second half, with impressive shooting percentages of 66.7 for field goals, 80 for three pointers, and 85.7 for free throws.

“This is arguably the biggest win in program history for our men’s basketball team,” said head coach Allen Sharpe, who received the NJCAA South District Coach of the Year Award in advance of the tournament start. “We knew it would be a monumental challenge for our team, but our guys stepped up. Our second-half defense was the reason we won. Holding Lee to 24 second-half points has given us the opportunity to advance and extend our season to Tuesday.”

Despite some down time due to early foul trouble, freshman guard Jimmie Williams of Cleveland, Ohio scored 22 points in the game and had seven rebounds. PJ Eason, a sophomore center from Dadeville, double-doubled for the game, with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman guard Jalen Carruth of Atlanta, Ga., contributed 16 points and five rebounds. Arthur Johnson, a freshman guard from Carrolton, Ga., scored 11 points and had three rebounds and four assists. Kendarius Anderson, a freshman guard from Tuscumbia, netted nine points and four rebounds. From the bench, sophomore guard Jalen Anglin of Jackson, Tenn., turned in seven points.

The Lions (26-8) advance to the second round, where they will take on No. 5 Indian Hills on Tuesday at 2:15 CDT. All games through the semi-finals are being aired on ESPN+, with the final to be aired on ESPNU. Visit www.njcaa.org for more information.