Marion, AL. The ACCC Co-Player of the Week, Christian Bradford, scored two of his nine points with 4.2 seconds remaining in the game to give MMI the 53-52 win over the Lions from Wallace State Community College Hanceville.
The first half was dominated by Wallace State as they built an early lead to double digits at the 7:25 mark. Marion fought back in the final minutes before halftime with freshman guard Neiman Dunams banking in a three-point shot. That shot cut the lead to 22-28. Hanceville retaliated with a three of their own, taking in a 31-22 advantage at the half.
Wallace State maintained the lead throughout the early minutes of the second half until Miles Perdue tied the game at 31 apiece at the 16:03 mark. The lead would go back and forth among the two teams, both trying to stay undefeated in ACCC North play. With Hanceville holding a one-point lead, sophomore Ronnie Baylark drained two free throws to give the lead back to the home squad with under three minutes left in regulation. Neither team could capitalize on offense until Emmanuel King from Wallace scored inside, giving the lead back to the Lions with 35.4 seconds on the clock. Marion couldn't convert on the next possession but a turnover by the visitors gave the ball back to the Tigers with 9.2 seconds. Bradford finished strong at the basket to give the lead back to Marion. A deep three-point attempt from WSCC came up short and the Tigers survived to stay atop the ACCC North standings.
Baylark led Marion in scoring with 12 points. Chase Garvin, Quamauri Hardy, and Charles Tripp each scored six points for Marion, now 14-3 on the season and 3-0 in conference play. Dunams finished with three points as did teammate Dotson Griffin. Also contributing were Anthony Pierre-Louis (2), Tyquarious Arnold (2), Mike Nobles (2), and Miles Perdue (2).
MMI will host Gadsden State Community College at home in the William R. Ireland Athletic Center Thursday evening with a 7:00 p.m. tip.