By Jim Hayes
Sophomore guard Kelsey Harriman exploded for 24 points, including 7 of 9 3-point shots, to give the Volunteer State Community College Ladies basketball team a 74-66 win over the Southwest Tennessee Community College Saluqi’s Wednesday night in Pickel Fieldhouse.
Harriman, last year’s nation-leading 3-point shooter, had lost her starting position after a season long slump and illness.
“I’m so happy and proud of that kid,” said Pioneer Head Coach Otis Key. “She’s been struggling all year and got sick a little bit in the middle of the year and has been fighting like heck to get back.”
“To see her go off like that and shoot like she did last year, it’s a beautiful thing,” said Key.
Harriman was 8-10 from the field (including 7-9 3-point shots) and 1-2 from the free-throw line.
Harriman did not want to talk about her heroics after the game.
“It’s a big win for the team,” she said. “I think we executed well and our passes were good.”
The win left Vol State in seventh place with a 5-9 conference record with two games left before the conference tournament at Cleveland State Community College on March 1. The Pioneers met last place Dyersburg State Community College in their final home game of the season Saturday and will finish their conference season Saturday, Feb. 23, at Jackson State Community College at 2 p.m..
The Pioneers have previously beaten both schools this year.
Key also credited the Pioneer defense for the win.
“I thought we played defense great,” he said. “We played a bad first quarter, but instead of letting that get us down, we played a good second quarter and actually turned the ship around.”
In addition to Harriman, Vol State had three other players score in double figures. Alyah Miller scored 17 points on 7 of 10 field-goals, and 2-4 free-throw shots. She made her only 3-point attempt.
Amanda Bennett, who Key said made some key shots, scored 12 points on 4-4 shooting from the field (she was 3-3 on 3-point shots) and 1-2 from the free-throw line.
LaMonica Mintlow sfinished 3-5 from the field and 5-6 from the free-throw line for 11 points on the afternoon. Rounding out the Pioneer scoring were Xavia Williams with 6 points, and Shalaya Armstead and McKinzie Wallace scored 2 each.