Delta State tops Alabama-Huntsville
Walker’s 19 points, 12 rebounds send Statesmen to next round
WINTER PARK, Fla. -- Delta State advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a dominating defensive performance winning 86-47 against Alabama-Huntsville on Friday.
The Lady Statesmen (22-6) started the game physical against the Lady Chargers (23-7) forcing three turnovers early on in the matchup. Denesha Henderson paced the green and white offense early shooting 2-of-3 from the field for five points to take an early 7-5 lead at the 15:00 mark in the firsthalf.
Delta State began to pull away railing off an 8-1 run lead by senior Veronica Walker at the midway point in the first-half to take a 20-11 lead against the Lady Chargers and continued to build on that lead throughout the rest of the first half taking a 51-28 lead going into the locker room.
Walker continued her offensive assault amassing 14 first-half points and six rebounds while Brittany Roberts contributed 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor.
Jordan Smith stood out for the Lady Chargers in the first-half shooting 5-of-9 from the floor for 11 points.
The Lady Statesmen picked up where they left off in the first half by playing stingy defense and pounding the ball inside with Walker extending the green and white's lead to 64-34 15:54 remaining in the opening round game.
Delta State forced a total of 23 turnovers in the win against Alabama-Huntsville and turned those turnovers into 26 points on the night while also shooting 33-of-59 (55.9 percent) from the floor.
Walker, the South Region Player of the Year, ended her night with her 11th double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Four other Lady Statesmen posted double figures in the winning effort with Roberts exploding on the scene 17 points and four assists, Henderson finished the night contributing 15 points, Brooke Rhodes shot 6-of-8 from the floor for 14 points and Rhandi Ball finished the game with 10 points and five rebounds