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Women’s Basketball

The Wallace State women’s basketball program has a winning tradition. The Lady Lions have won six ACCC/Region 22 conference championships and have advanced five times to National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I tournament.
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A year after reaching new program heights, Wallace State’s women’s basketball team finished the 2015-16 season as the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) tournament runner-up for the second consecutive season and fourth time in five seasons.

Wallace State finished with a 14-20 record in 2015-16 behind lone senior Hannah Vest, a plethora of freshmen and coach Ron Burdette.

The Lady Lions had five players average 6.5 points or better. Vest put in nine points per game, knocking down 67 3-pointers.

Jasmine Richardson scored 8.5 points per game for Wallace State, Jasmine Hollis finished with averages of 7.8 points and 5.3 rebounds and Velencia Johnson scored 7.3 points per game.

Alex Lowery scored 6.7 points and dished out a team-high 77 assists, Kelsey Houston averaged 5.8 points per game and Morgan Higgins averaged 5.5 points and 4.6 rebounds.

Vest, Houston and Johnson were each named to the ACCC All-Tournament team in 2016.

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Burdette, who has established a successful footprint on the program, wrapped up his fifth season at Wallace State in 2015-16 and has compiled a 114-50 record with the Lady Lions during his tenure. He has earned Coach of the Year honors in all but one season with Wallace State, including being named the 2015 co-ACCC North Division Coach of the Year. Along with his 2015 recognition, Burdette was named the ACCC North Coach of the Year in both 2014 and 2013 and the 2012 ACCC Coach of the Year. His teams have finished conference tournament runner up four times (2016, 2015, 2013 and 2012) and third once (2014).

The 2014-15 season under Burdette was one of the program’s best. The Lady Lions advanced to their fifth National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament and made history by winning the program’s first opening-round game in Salina, Kansas. The Lady Lions finished the campaign with 28-6 record, qualified for the national tournament as the ACCC/Region 22 runner-up (as an at-large zone bid qualifier) and earned the Alberta Lee Cox Sportsmanship Award for the first ever time at the national tournament. It was the team’s first national tournament appearance under Burdette, and he won his 100th game vs. Eastern Arizona.

Among the sophomores on 2014-15 team was forward Morgan Smith, a Cullman graduate. She became the first player in women’s basketball history to be named a 2nd-team NJCAA All-American. Smith, who was also named the 2015 ACCC Player of the Year, led the team with an average of 16.1 points per game and was also first on the team in steals (93), second in assists (94) and third in rebounding (5.6 per game). Smith was a All-Region 22 second-team member as a freshman and a first-team All-North Division member.

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Burdette, a former University of Alabama basketball walk-on, has been part of the Wallace State family for more than a decade, serving as an assistant coach under Larry Slater beginning in 2002, and playing a strong role in the program winning two conference championships (2003, 2011). Burdette was also the men’s interim head coach during the 2004-05 campaign.
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Burdette led Wallace State to an ACCC North Division championship during the 2013-14 season, which saw the Lady Lions compile a 27-5 record. Wallace State was a perfect 13-0 at home during the regular season, won 18 of 19 games at one point, made a conference-best 265 3-pointers and earned a top seed in the conference tournament.

Wallace State women’s basketball has produced more than 115 NCAA Division I players upon transferring and holds claim to a strong collection of NJCAA All-Americans and NJCAA Academic Athletes of Distinction in its history.

Burdette, who lives in Cullman and holds a degree in marketing from Alabama, coached at Monrovia Middle School and Randolph High School in the 1990s, prior to his arrival at Wallace State.

Former Wallace State guard Jessica McBrayer served as an assistant for a second season.

For more information about the program, contact Coach Ron Burdette at 256-352-8350 or email Ron.Burdette@wallacestate.edu.