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Senators season ends at Hutch in NJCAA National Tournament
 March 19, 2013

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – The 23rd-seed Walters State Senators gave the 10th-seed and second ranked Coffeyville Red Ravens all they could handle for a half Monday night in the NJCAA National Tournament opener inside the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

The second half however, saw the favored Ravens take over, as they held the Senators to only 12 points in the final 20 minutes to grab a 77-53 victory over Walters State to advance to Wednesday’s Sweet Sixteen.

With the win, Coffeyville improves to 32-2 on the year and will face seventh seed East Georgia (30-2) Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m.

The loss brings an end to the year for Walters State, who ends up the year at 17-16 and an 18th place finish in the nation.

After a slow start, the Senators heated up in a hurry, especially from outside in the first half. Walters State trailed 5-4 five minutes into the game, but Cameron High scored five points in a 14-9 spurt that gave the Senators an 18-14 lead midway through the half.

The Ravens used a 10-1 run to claim a 24-19 lead, but Walters State came roaring back behind Tyler Ailshie. The sophomore guard gunned in 11 points, including three 3-pointers, and Dedron Pillow added a trey to give the Senators a 41-34 lead late in the half.

Walters State did not score in the final 2:35 of the half, but held Coffeyville to only one made bucket in the same stretch and took a 41-37 lead into halftime.

The Senators shot 46.4 percent (13 of 28) in the first half, including 5 of 12 from the 3-point line, and they added 10 of 14 from the charity stripe. Ailshie led WSCC with 13 points in the half, while Cedarius Taylor and Cameron High both added seven points in the frame.

The Ravens shot 40.6 percent (13 of 32) from the floor in the half, and they also made 5 of 12 from long range. Montel James led Coffeyville with 11 points and five boards in the half, while Travis Britt added nine points in the opening 20 minutes.

The Senators held a 43-41 lead early in the second half, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Earl Peterson and Britt sparked a 12-0 run for the Ravens that put them ahead 53-43 with 13:40 left in the game.

Coffeyville continued to add to the margin with a dunk by Carl Crawford with 9:03 left making it 59-47, as the Ravens held Walters State to only six points in the opening 11 minutes of the half.

The Senators responded with two buckets – one each from Kelvin Key and Pillow – to trim the lead to eight, but a short jumper by Cameron Craig, a 3-pointer from Britt and a layup by Crawford gave Coffeyville a 7-0 run and a 66-51 lead with 3:19 to play.

The Ravens extended the run to 18-2 to end the game, as they held WSCC without a field goal for the final five minutes.

Coffeyville ended the night shooting 48.3 percent (29 of 60) after nailing 57.1 percent (16 of 28) of their shots in the second half. Earl Peterson led the Ravens with 16 points, while James added 14, Britt had 12 and Crawford tallied 10 in the win.

The Senators shot just 34 percent (18 of 53) from the floor in the loss, including just 20 percent (5 of 25) in the final 20 minutes. Ailshie totaled 15 points and High added 10 in the defeat.

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