Walton pulled down a career-high 23 rebounds and scored a team-high 15 points to lead the Delta State University Lady Statesmen in their 58-32 win over the University of West Alabama Lady Tigers in Gulf South Conference women’s basketball action. DSU improved to 9-5 with a 4-2 mark in the conference, while West Alabama fell to 9-5 with a 3-3 mark in the GSC.
Out of the 23 rebounds Walton grabbed, 17 of them were on the defensive end. She also blocked three shots and recorded two steals to help lead a DSU defense that held the Lady Tigers to just 20.3 percent (12-of-59) shooting from the floor.
“Coach said before the game to go in and get rebounds. Don’t be lazy on offense and box out on defense so they won’t get second chance shots,” Walton said. “I just wanted to be there for my team and help them get some rebounds so they want get second chance shots. On film, they were going to the boards on offense and I just wanted to help the defense tonight.”
Walton’s performance was an example of the way she has played all season. She currently leads the team in points per game (14.6), rebounds per game (8.5) and total blocked shots.
Lady Statesmen head coach David Midlick was really impressed with Walton’s overall performance in the game and the progress she’s made this season. “I’ve seen very few women’s basketball players come up with 20 in a game like she did,” Midlick said. “She’s improving week by week. I’m proud of her. She’s worked on her conditioning. She’s worked on her footwork, she’s worked on her post moves, and it’s showing in her stats and the way she is playing.”
The defensive effort from the Lady Statesmen was one of the best, statistics wise, in years. The 32 points they gave up were the lowest they’ve surrendered in a game since Dec. 4, 2010 when the Lady Statesmen defeated West Georgia 67-31.
Midlick was pleased with the girls overall performance on defense.
“Defensively, I thought we played a good game,” Midlick said. “West Alabama is very talented, even with two of their better players out with injury. They beat Valdosta State last week, and I’m so proud of our defensive effort tonight. We’ll take any win we can get.”
Chelsey Roberts had another solid game for DSU as she scored 14 points, followed by Rhandi Ball with eight points, five steals and four assists and Becca Ruckes with eight points.
DSU will return to the basketball court on Saturday when the team hosts West Georgia in another GSC showdown set for 2 p.m.