CLINTON – The 15th-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College made their 10-point halftime lead hold up in claiming a 78-68 victory over Jones County Junior College in Thursday’s opening round of the NJCAA Region 23 Men’s Basketball Tournament being held at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus.
Coach Mark White’s 21-4 EMCC Lions will look to avenge last week’s heartbreaking 66-63 semifinal-round loss to Pearl River Community College in the MACJC State Tournament, as the two teams square off in Friday’s semifinals of the regional tournament. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m., with the winner advancing to Saturday’s 8 p.m. championship contest. Pearl River, seeded fifth, squeezed by No. 4 seed Holmes, 50-49, in Thursday’s first round to advance to the semis.
The Lions will also be looking to duplicate last year’s revenge factor when they fell to PRCC, 61-52, in the state semifinals but rebounded to knock off the Wildcats, 89-80, in the semifinal round of the 2011 NJCAA Region 23 Tournament also held in Clinton.
Having just recently drilled 17 made three-point baskets en route to last week’s convincing 103-70 first-round triumph over the JCJC Bobcats at the Itawamba-hosted MACJC State Tournament in Fulton, the Lions faced a gritty Jones County club in their regional opener. It took a 12-3 run over the final four minutes of the first half to give top-seeded EMCC a 34-24 halftime advantage.
The Bobcats scored 10 unanswered points early in the second stanza to first knot the score at 38-38 and then took their first lead of the game, 41-38, on a 3-pointer by Dontavious Lewis at the 13:27 mark. Following two more lead changes and another tie at 42-42, Jones County tallied six unanswered points to pull ahead 48-43 with 11:17 remaining in the contest.
The two teams battled through three more deadlocks before the Lions re-assumed control of the game with a 7-0 spurt ignited by a three-point play by Curtis Hall. Sophomore post player Millaun Brown also stepped up for the Lions by scoring three of his four baskets during the game-clinching run. This final push by the two-time defending NJCAA Region 23 champions put EMCC back up by nine points (69-60) with 3:04 left in the game.
Despite missing 14-of-25 free throws in the second half, the Bobcats fought until the final buzzer and trimmed the deficit to just five points (73-68) on a three-point basket by Tim Allen with 43.9 seconds remaining on the game clock. With JCJC having to resort to fouling during the final minute of play, EMCC sophomore playmaker D.J. Evans tacked on five more free throws down the stretch to add to his game-high total of 26 points.
While battling leg cramps throughout the second half, Evans hit 10-of-14 charity tosses after intermission and 12-of-16 from the stripe for the contest. The former All-Metro Jackson standout from Brandon High School also shot 6-of-14 from the field, including 2-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc, in addition to handing out four assists.
Transfer forward Colin Borchert, of Phoenix, Ariz., followed with 18 points for the winners. Hall, of West Point, registered his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Brown, a West Bolivar High School product, pulled down a season-high 13 boards to go along with his eight points on 4-of-5 shooting.
Finishing out the season with a 12-13 overall mark, the eighth-seeded Jones County Bobcats had four players score in double figures, led by Donta Pittman and Allen with 16 and 14 points, respectively. J.J. Bolton contributed 13 points off the JCJC bench and Kelvin Nixon added 11.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 March 2012 )
BROOKHAVEN – In the MACJC’s third golf tournament in less than two weeks, the Lions of East Mississippi Community College improved seven strokes from opening-round play to claim a fourth-place team finish Tuesday at Brookhaven Country Club.
Following Monday’s fifth-place team score of 312 at Wolf Hollow Golf Club, head coach Dale Peay’s EMCC Lions carded a 305 in second-day action of the event hosted by Copiah-Lincoln Community College. EMCC had opened the spring golf season with consecutive third-place team showings in Pass Christian and Raymond.
For the third straight event, four-time defending NJCAA Region 23 champion Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College captured team honors with a 17-stroke advantage (597-580) over host Co-Lin. After standing second following Monday’s first round, Northwest Mississippi Community College finished third 10 strokes ahead of EMCC.
Individually, sophomore Zac Taylor, of Caledonia, paced East Mississippi with a two-day total of 151 (77-74) to finish in a four-way tie for 10th place. Fresh from consecutive all-tournament showings to begin his collegiate career, Lion freshman Miles Respess (79-75—154) and sophomore Weston Wallace (77-77—154), last year’s Hubert Tucker Award winner as the MACJC’s regular-season stroke average leader, tied with six other golfers for 18th place.
For the second straight event, Gulf Coast’s Drew Seals topped his Bulldog teammate Jared Smith for medalist honors with a 1-under-par 141 (70-71). Aided by an opening-round 66, Smith finished at 144, two shots better than MGCCC teammate Marcus Cox and Cameron Thomas of Northwest Mississippi.
EMCC sophomore Andrew Spiers (81-75—156) and freshman Nick Davis (79-77—156) finished tied for 27th, while sophomore Bobby Bowlin rounded out the Lions’ scorecard with a 160 total (81-79) to place tied for 33rd.
Following a very busy start to the spring campaign, the EMCC golf team will now prepare to host the MACJC’s fourth event of the season, March 25-26, at the Mississippi State University Golf Course in Starkville.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 March 2012 )
SCOOBA – The East Mississippi Community College softball team dropped a home doubleheader, 7-2 and 6-0, to division foe Itawamba Community College Tuesday afternoon on the EMCC campus.
The opening contest began with lost scoring opportunities for both teams. Though the visitors pushed across solo tallies in each of the first five innings, the Lady Indians left two runners on base during each of the first four frames. Despite leaving a dozen runners on base for the contest, including four stranded in scoring position through the first two innings, ICC countered by out-hitting the home team, 13-8.
In the bottom of the first, the Lady Lions utilized singles by Alex Smith and Allison Hauer along with hit-by-pitch efforts from Amber Spann and Stormy Lewis to initially tie up the game. Despite the first four batters reaching base, EMCC could only manage the one run before leaving the bases loaded.
The Lady Lions trimmed the deficit to 3-2 in the third when Lewis doubled and came around to score on Cory Roberson’s infield single and subsequent throwing error by ICC shortstop Holly Schlicht. However, that was all the scoring EMCC would muster off Itawamba pitching the rest of the afternoon. The Lady Indians all but sealed the opening-game win on a two-out, two-run single by pinch-hitter Courtney Dawson in the sixth inning.
Game one starting pitcher Kristyn Atkins, from Heritage Academy, settled down to hold the Lady Lions to just two hits over the final four innings. In the nightcap, ICC freshman Meg Whitten limited EMCC to only four total hits en route to completing the doubleheader sweep for the Lady Indians.
Offensively in the opener, former Clarkdale teammates Spann and Smith each had two hits apiece for the home-standing Lady Lions. Freshman right-hander Stevie Wilson pitched into the sixth inning, allowing a dozen hits and all seven runs, to drop to 2-6 on the season with the setback.
The visitors grabbed the early 1-0 lead again in the nightcap on a solo home run by Jessi Patterson off EMCC’s Smith, making her first collegiate start in the circle. Undaunted, the Lady Lions appeared on their way to making some noise in the bottom half of the frame. EMCC loaded the bases with no outs on a leadoff double from Spann followed by a walk to Smith and a bunt single by Paige Sheppard. However, the momentum quickly turned on back-to-back ground balls to ICC third baseman Kami Roberts, who first turned Lewis’ hard hit ball into a double play at home and then forced out Sheppard at third on Logan Bozeman’s grounder to the bag.
The Lady Indians took advantage of the change in momentum by scoring three more runs in the top of the second, highlighted by Anna Holley’s two-out, two-run single off Smith. Holley, a former New Hope product, would later cap her 5-for-9 day at the plate with another clutch, two-run base hit with two outs in the sixth inning.
Smith, who had an infield hit in the sixth for her third hit of the day, took the loss for the Lady Lions. She was relieved by Misty Richard, of West Lauderdale, in the third inning, who gave way to former Kemper Academy product Shelby Sheppard in the sixth.
Now 5-16 overall and winless in six attempts within the division, head coach Kate Neely’s EMCC Lady Lions will hit the road for five straight doubleheaders away from home to close out the month of March. That upcoming three-week stretch begins with Friday’s MACJC North Division twinbill against Mississippi Delta Community College in Moorhead. The Lady Lions’ next home action is slated for Monday, April 2 versus Northeast Mississippi Community College.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 March 2012 )
WESSON – The East Mississippi Community College baseball team efficiently produced 13 runs on 13 hits in shutting out Henry Ford Community College in the first of two games the Lions played Tuesday afternoon at Sullivan Field on the campus of Copiah-Lincoln Community College. In the nightcap, EMCC dropped a 15-5 decision to the home-standing Co-Lin Wolfpack.
In the opener against the Michigan-based HFCC Hawks, six of the Lions’ 13 hits went for extra bases. EMCC also had four different players record multiple hits, highlighted by Austin Braddock’s 3-for-3 effort. The former Heritage Academy standout singled in each of the first two innings and added a run-scoring double in the third.
After scoring four runs in the first inning and three more in the second, the Lions used the long ball to do most of their damage in the third inning. Prior to Braddock’s double, former Columbus High School products Josh Tentoni and Leroy Wilson both belted home runs three batters apart. Tentoni’s first collegiate blast was a solo shot to left field, while Wilson’s first homer of the year also drove home Aaron Brady, who had reached first after being hit by a pitch.
EMCC completed the run rule-shortened contest with two more tallies in the fourth and final inning. After Zane Migues led off the frame with a double, courtesy runner Cody Berryhill was brought home by Ismael Reyes’ RBI single. Migues, from Lafayette, La., had earlier contributed a two-run single in the first frame. Brady, of South Jones High School, delivered the Lions’ 13th run of the contest with a triple to left field to plate Reyes.
With the Lions clicking on offense in the opener, freshman right-hander Smokey Ethridge was rolling along on the mound as well. The former West Lauderdale product moved to 2-0 on the season with the four-inning shutout. Along with scattering three singles, Ethridge had four strikeouts and only one walk.
In the nightcap versus host Co-Lin, the Lions owned a 5-2 lead after their half of the third inning with most of the damage coming with two outs. Following Brady’s leadoff single, Braddock smacked his fourth hit of the day to give EMCC an early 1-0 lead. The visitors answered Co-Lin’s two-run first with three more scores in the second and another tally in the third.
Alex Chick, of Hernando, helped set the table in the second with his first of three walks in the nightcap. Tentoni’s two-out single preceded Brady’s second triple of the day and a subsequent run-producing double by Wilson. EMCC’s fifth and final run of game two came on Holden Watts’ first of two singles in the contest. Braddock opened the third reaching via a hit-by-pitch and moved to second on Chick’s second walk to set up Watts’ RBI single.
Brady and Wilson also added singles to give the Lions three multi-hit performers in the nightcap. EMCC added nine hits as a team in the second game following its 13-hit attack in the opener.
The Lions’ 5-2 advantage was short-lived, however, as Jarvis Wilbert’s two-out, three-run home run highlighted Co-Lin’s four-run third inning to put the home team back in front 6-5. The Wolfpack’s two-out efficiency was also showcased an inning later when they sent 11 batters to the plate. Chasing EMCC starting pitcher Blake Hutcheson and middle reliever Tyler Jones from the contest in the game-changing fourth inning, Co-Lin scored seven runs after the first two outs had been recorded, including a stretch where seven consecutive hitters reached base safely by way of five singles, an error and a hit batsman.
The Wolfpack picked up two more runs in the fifth inning off EMCC reliever K.C. Abney to account for the final run-rule decision. Hutcheson, the Lions’ sophomore left-hander, dropped to 0-2 on the year. Chandler Ramsey picked up the victory for Co-Lin with relief help from Tripp Jolly.
After playing 10 straight games away from home, head coach Chris Rose’s 4-10 EMCC Lions are slated to play at home for the first time since Feb. 15 when they welcome Garden City (Kan.) Community College to Scooba for a Saturday afternoon doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at EMCC’s Gerald Poole Field.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 March 2012 )
| SCOOBA – The 12th-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College begin defense of their back-to-back regional basketball championships by taking on the Jones County Junior College Bobcats in Thursday’s first round of the 2012 NJCAA Region 23 Basketball Tournament being played in Clinton. Tip-off time for the men’s regional opener between EMCC and JCJC is set for 1 p.m. at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus.
The 12th-ranked EMCC Lions’ bid for a third straight regional hoops tournament title begins Thursday against the Bobcats of Jones County Junior College in Clinton. Tip-off time is set for 1 p.m. at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the Mississippi College campus.
A rematch of last week’s opening-round MACJC State Tournament meeting won by EMCC, 103-70, in Fulton, Thursday’s men’s regional opener between the Lions and Bobcats will be video-streamed live on www.jcjc.tv. The winner of the EMCC-JCJC contest will advance to meet the winner of the Holmes-Pearl River matchup in Friday’s semifinals at 6 p.m.
Thursday’s other first-round men’s regional pairings will pit two-time defending MACJC State Champion Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College against Hinds Community College at 6 p.m., followed by Southern University at Shreveport (La.) versus Northwest Mississippi Community College at 8 p.m. Those two first-round winners will square off in Friday’s other semifinal-round game at 8 p.m.
The men’s championship contest of the 2012 NJCAA Region 23 Basketball Tournament will be played Saturday at 8 p.m., with the winner advancing to the NJCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship, March 20-24, in Hutchinson, Kan.
Seeded first in the eight-team men’s tournament bracket for having the best regular-season regional record, head coach Mark White’s 20-4 EMCC Lions are bidding to become the first three-time NJCAA Region 23 men’s champion since Northwest Mississippi Community College claimed four consecutive regional titles from 2003 through 2006. Last season in Clinton, the Lions knocked off East Central CC (81-74), Pearl River CC (89-80) and Southern-Shreveport (71-67) to successfully defend their regional championship. Two years ago at Mississippi College, EMCC defeated Northeast Mississippi CC (86-79), Hinds CC (81-74 in OT) and Itawamba CC (78-64) in regional play to earn the Lions’ first-ever berth in the NJCAA National Tournament in Kansas.
Women’s first-round action of the 2012 NJCAA Region 23 Basketball Tournament begins Wednesday on the Mississippi College campus. Meridian Community College will take on Jones County Junior College to open the tournament at 1 p.m., followed by Copiah-Lincoln Community College against Baton Rouge (La.) Community College at 3 p.m. The evening session of Wednesday’s opening round pairs MACJC State Champion Itawamba Community College with Coahoma Community College at 6 p.m., along with Holmes Community College versus Pearl River Community College at 8 p.m.
After taking off Thursday for the start of men’s regional action, women’s play resumes Friday afternoon with 1 and 3 p.m. semifinal-round games. The women’s championship contest will tip off at 6 p.m., with the winner advancing to the NJCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship, March 20-24, in Salina, Kan.
2012 NJCAA REGION 23 MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT PAIRINGS
Clinton, Miss. – A.E. Wood Coliseum – Mississippi College
Thursday, March 8 (First Round)
East Mississippi vs. Jones County – 1 p.m.
Holmes vs. Pearl River – 3 p.m.
Mississippi Gulf Coast vs. Hinds – 6 p.m.
Southern-Shreveport-Northwest Mississippi – 8 p.m.
Friday, March 9 (Semifinals)EMCC-JCJC winner vs. Holmes-PRCC winner – 6 p.m.
MGCCC-Hinds winner vs. SUSLA-NWCC winner – 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 10 (Championship) – 8 p.m.
2012 NJCAA REGION 23 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT PAIRINGS
Clinton, Miss. – A.E. Wood Coliseum – Mississippi College
Wednesday, March 7 (First Round)
Meridian vs. Jones County – 1 p.m.
Copiah-Lincoln vs. Baton Rouge – 3 p.m.
Itawamba vs. Coahoma – 6 p.m.
Holmes vs. Pearl River – 8 p.m.
Friday, March 9 (Semifinals)
MCC-JCJC winner vs. Co-Lin-BRCC winner – 1 p.m.
ICC-CCC winner vs. Holmes-PRCC winner – 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 10 (Championship) – 6 p.m.
Last Updated ( Monday, 05 March 2012 )