Cougars, Lady Cougars Fall to Walters State

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
MORRISTOWN - The Cleveland State Cougars let a second half lead slip away and went long periods of time between buckets as they dropped a Region VII Conference match-up with Walters State on a rainy Tuesday night in Morristown. The Senators completed the comeback win by a final tally of 62-53.
The Lady Cougars had a big hill to climb as they saw their six game win streak come to an end as they fell to the 8th ranked team in all the land, dropping an 81-57 decision to the Lady Senators.

The Senators knocked down the first, eight points of the game almost before the Cougars knew what had hit them. A three-pointer from the corner from Philipe Goncalves broke the ice and from there the visitors slowly, but surely sliced into the Senator lead the rest of the half.
A steal and slam dunk from Goncalves cut the led to only four points midway through the half and a highlight film reverse layup by Travis Jones gave the Cougars their first lead of the night at 22-21 at the 7:28 mark. A trey from Jones and a pair of driving layups from Ralph Eason helped the Cougars maintain a slim lead, but a three-pointer from Dedron Pillow and a pair of short jumpers in the paint by Leland Robinson and Denard Williams helped the home team catch up as they tied the contest at 37-37 by halftime.
Both teams shot the ball well in the first half as the Senators blistered the nets for 45 percent while the Cougars shot 48 percent. The much taller Senators flexed their muscles in the paint, outrebounding the Cougars 23-12.
The lead changed hands or the game was tied nine times in the early part of the second half. An offensive rebound and putback by Xavier Okoro gave the Cougars their largest lead at 52-47, but the Senators came right back to tie the game and take the lead with a 10-0 run. 
The Cougars then went ice cold from the floor as they were able to only score one point over the final six minutes of the game. Elgrin Wilson made his presence known in the paint down the stretch for the Senators with three tough buckets as the home team held on for the win.
Cleveland State shot 32 percent for the game including a dismal 19 percent in the second half which would be the statistic that they would not be able to overcome. Walters State also won the battle on the boards 51-34. Robinson and Wilson led the way for the Senators (9-9) with 16 points each. Eason paced the Cougars (10-5, 5-3) with 13 points, Goncalves added 12 and Trey Suttles finished with 11.
                                                  LADY SENATORS 81  LADY COUGARS 57
The 8th ranked Lady Senators used their tremendous height advantage all night long as they quickly jumped out to a 34-13 lead to start the game and never looked back. The Lady Cougars hung tough as they cut the lead back to only eight points with an 11-0 run midway through the half. Mercedes Owens nailed three straight shots from downtown and Tre'Ketta Bonds added a pair of tough buckets in the paint for the visitors during the run.
Donessha Shular poured in 18 points in the half while Aisjah Roan and Breonna Hall connected from three-point land to help Walters State ease back out to a 45-30 halftime advantage. The Lady Senators sizzled the nets to the tune of 54 percent in the half while holding Cleveland State to only 34 percent.
The Lady Senators (15-1, 8-0)) maintained their lead and stretched it the rest of the way as they sealed the win in strong order. Shuler led all scorers with 28 points, Roan added 12 and Hall finished with 10. Jara Gasper paced the Lady Cougars (11-6, 4-4) with 14 points, Owens added nine and Shadave Taylor had seven.
Cleveland State will host Roane State on Saturday at 2:00. Both games can be watched live via the Cougar Sports Network by going to the Cleveland State website and following the links.

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