The Lady Senators returned to a familiar place as they won the TCCAA/Region VII Championship for the eighth year in row when they defeated the Lady Tigers of Chattanooga State this afternoon by a 58-51 final. The Lady Senators will now turn their attention to the NJCAA Women's Division I National Tournament to be held in Lubbock, Texas starting on March 18. Walters will learn of their seed on Monday, March 11, during a live selection show on NJCAA TV at 11 am.
The first quarter saw Chattanooga jump out to a 5-0 lead in the first couple of minutes of the game. They were able to maintain that advantage by the end of the quarter when they led 14-9. MacKenzie Trouten of the Lady Tigers made an impact with six first quarter points. The Lady Tigers also forced the Lady Senators into five turnovers in the first ten minutes. Shooting was at a minimumas Chattanooga shot 33% compared to the Lady Senators 40%.
The Lady Senators took the lead going into halftime as they outscored the Lady Tigers 14-7 in the quarter. Both teams started out slow as Walters' Jalaya Manning hit a layup at the 7:53 mark for the first points of the quarter. Walters would tie the contest with five minutes to play, and a Brianna Dixon jumper with 11 seconds to play would give her squad a 23-21 lead at the break. Manning would be the leader for Walters with eight points in the quarter.
The third quarter saw a see saw affair as both teams held slim leads in the quarter. The Lady Senators would go on a 8-2 run in the last 1:40 to build a 39-34 lead at the end. Most Valuable Player Zacharyia Esmon would drain a 3 pointer as the buzzer sounded to increase the lead. Esmon and Jamaya Rogers were both keys in the quarter for the Lady Senators while Rachel Sanders scored eight points in the quarter to keep the Lady Tigers in striking distance.
The final quarter was a mirror of the third as it was almost two minutes into the stanza before anyone would score. Walters would build a nine point lead with just under five minutes to play on a Dulcy Fankam Menjiadeu layup at 50-41. The Lady Senators would go up by 11 late in the game as they would go to the free throw line maintaining their advantage. Esmon came up big in the fourth quarter as she scored nine points in the decisive period.
Esmon would lead the Lady Senators with 22 points. Mendjiadeu and Manning also reached double figures with 12 and 11 points. Manning would lead with five rebounds while Dixon would finish with four steals. Walters connected on 45.7% of their shots in the game and 37.5% from 3-point range.
The Lady Tigers had three players reach double figures with Sanders leading with 12 points. Ashlyn Baker would finish with 11 while Trouten would finish with ten points. Essence Johnson would lead her team with five rebounds. Baker and Shanice Nelson would each finish with four assists in the contest. Chattanooga shot 37.3% from the field which included 17.6% from three point range. The Lady Tigers end the season with a 21-9 overall record.