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Senators fall to ninth ranked Spartanburg Methodist
 November 20, 2012

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. – Ninth ranked Spartanburg Methodist came to Morristown with the reputation of a scoring team. They lived up that billing against Walters State Tuesday, scoring 49 points in the first half and taking home an 80-68 victory over the Senators inside ‘Z’ Buda Gymnasium.

The Pioneers nailed 10 3-pointers in the first half and 11 total and shot better than 50 percent all night to improve to 9-0 on the season. The Senators fell to 3-4 with the loss.

The Pioneers opened the game red-hot and did not cool off for the first 20 minutes. Dajohn Rowland had the hot hand, making four 3-pointers and scoring 12 points in the first half, and Spartanburg Methodist was 10 of 15 from long range.

Jalen Nesbitt also had a big first half, scoring 14 points on 6 of 7 shooting, while Ronell Crockett and Travis Black had eight each in the half. Black also added seven assists in the frame.

Spartanburg built a 25-8 lead in the first nine minutes of the game, but Walters State freshman guar Darius White finished the half on fire. White gunned in 16 points, including four 3-pointers, as the Senators cut the lead to 49-37 at halftime.

The Pioneers shot 63.3 percent (19 of 30) in the first half and held a 22-15 edge on the glass to counter their 10 turnovers.

Walters State shot 38.9 percent (14 of 36) from the floor, including 4 of 11 from long distance. Tyler Ailshie had six points, four assists and two steals in the opening 20 minutes.

The Pioneers broke the ice more than three minutes into the second half, and the Senators steadily fell further behind. A pair of free throws by Nesbitt with 10:46 left in the game gave Spartanburg a 21-point lead, and a long 3-pointer by Ben Johnson extended the lead to 65-41.

The Pioneers led 72-43 before a 14-1 run by the Senators, which included seven points by White, to trim it to 73-57 with 4:45 to play. Spartanburg’s Quinton Johnson temporarily halted the momentum with two buckets, but Walters State scored 11 straight after that to cut it to 77-68 with 1:05 left.

The Pioneers put the game away at the free throw line in the final minute, as the Senators failed to score on their final three possessions.

Spartanburg finished the night shooting 50.9 percent (28 of 55) from the field, including 11 of 24 from beyond the 3-point line. Nesbitt recorded a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Rowland added 19 points and Crockett had 10 in the win.

Walters State shot 38.8 percent (26 of 67) from the floor, and White led the Senators with 30 points in the loss.

The Senators will be back in action on Friday when they play in the Gulf Coast Admiral Thanksgiving Classic in Panama City Beach, Fla. Walters State will play Gulf Coast and Pensacola in the two-day tournament.

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