The lead changed hands five times in the opening minutes of the men's contest. With the Senators holding a slim 17-14 advantage, it was time for the Jackie Hale show to take center stage. The freshman guard from Birmingham, Ala. didn't disappoint as he came off the Cougar bench and lit up the scoreboard by hitting four long-range bombs in a row on four trips down the floor to put the home team on top, 26-19.
The Senators fought back to tie the game at 28 apiece at the five minute mark, but a nice assist from Travis Wildgoose to Marcellus Roberts for a rim-rattling slam dunk put the Cougars back on top and helped them to a 40-36 halftime lead.
The Cougars would hold a small lead for the first 13 minutes of the second half, but the Senators caught fire at the seven minute mark and reeled off 14 straight points as Denard Williams nailed a three-pointer from each corner and then followed a missed shot with a put-back slam dunk to help his team to a 10 point lead, 73-63.
Cleveland State got as close as six points down the stretch, but could never overcome the hot-shooting Senators run as the visitors held on for the big conference win. Hale paced the Cougars (11-10, 6-9) with 17 points, Wildgoose added 16 points and 11 rebounds while Robert Brandon finished with 11 points. Aaron Wheeler led the way for the Senators (15-13, 8-8) with 20 points, Trey Suttles finished with 18 points and 13 boards and Williams added 13 points.
LADY SENATORS 96
LADY COUGARS 56
Whitney Thompson hit a pair of short jumpers for the Lady Cougars in the early going as the home team trailed, 8-6. But, from that point forward, the Lady Senators dominated in all phases of the game as they embarked on a 20-2 run on their way to a 48-22 halftime lead.
The visitors dominated the paint as Jephany Brown and Jasmine McAllister took turns making bucket after bucket. Walters State shot 47 percent in the first half from the floor, caused 18 Lady Cougar turnovers and gathered 12 steals in the process.
The Lady Senators ran away and hid in the second half as they continued their dominance on both ends of the court. Walters State shot 53 percent for the game while holding the Lady Cougars to 36 percent.
McAllister led the way for Walters State (27-0, 16-0) with 21 points and 13 rebounds, Jephany Brown added 12 points, Karly Frye finished with 11 and Donessa Shuler-Brown had 10. Jamesha Mosley paced the Lady Cougars (16-7, 8-7) with 11 points.
Cleveland State will travel to Bryan College on Monday.