|East Mississippi basketball teams to host Pearl River in home hoops opener Thursday|
The 5:30 p.m. women’s game at EMCC’s Keyes T. Currie Coliseum will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. men’s contest.SCOOBA, Miss. – Following three straight road outings to begin the 2008-09 campaign, the East Mississippi basketball teams tip off their home slate by playing host to Pearl River Thursday evening on the Scooba campus.
Coach Sharon Thompson’s Lady Lions have jumped out to a fast 3-0 start on the young season with all three wins having come on the road by a collective total of just seven points. After claiming two-point road triumphs over Jones County (78-76) and preseason 13th-ranked East Central (62-60), the EMCC women most recently posted a 65-62 win over Hinds in Utica this past Monday.
“For the second straight game, we didn’t play well but managed to win on the road in a close contest,” Thompson noted after Monday’s victory over Hinds. “I’m optimistic about the fact that we continue to find ways to win on the road despite not playing the way we are capable of playing.”
Through the first week of the new campaign, the Lady Lions have been led by a pair of newcomers – sophomore transfer Angelique Burtts and former Southeast Lauderdale standout Martika Hull. A 5-foot-11 transfer forward from Middle Tennessee State by way of Conyers, Ga., Burtts is averaging a team-best 17.3 points per game, including a pair of 20-point efforts already this season. After scoring 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting against Jones County in her EMCC debut, Burtts most recently tallied 25 points on 9-of-13 field goals in the team’s three-point win over Hinds.
Having helped paced coach Joe Miller’s Lady Tigers to the Class 3A state championship this past spring at Meridian’s Southeast Lauderdale High School, Hull has thus far made the smooth transition to the next level by having averaged 15 points through the first three games. Following a near-double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds in her collegiate debut at Jones County, the 5-foot-11 forward came right back in her next outing to record a double-double with 19 points on 9-of-13 field goals and 11 boards against the defending Region 23 champion East Central Lady Warriors.
Coach Mark White’s 1-2 Lions have also started the new season with three close contests. After falling on the road to Jones County (90-86) and East Central (73-63), East Mississippi most recently broke into the win column by posting a 72-68 victory over Hinds Monday night in Utica. Sophomore point guard Cataurius Taylor led a trio of double-digit Lion scorers with 19 points against Hinds.
Leading the way in the scoring column for the EMCC men has been sophomore forward Darian Donald, who is averaging team highs of 15 points and 6.7 rebounds through the first week of the season. The former standout at Columbus’ Caledonia High School opened the campaign with back-to-back, career-high scoring efforts of 18 and 19 points, respectively, against Jones County and East Central. Sophomore wing player Larry Foster, a transfer from Wallace State-Hanceville, is putting up an average of 12.7 points an outing, including 16 points in his EMCC debut in the opener at JCJC. Also scoring in double figures thus far on the year are Starkville’s Woodie Howard (10.7 ppg) and Taylor (10.3).
“It’s always good to get that first win in hand, especially after beginning the season with three tough road games,” White said. “I know our kids are ready to finally play in front of a home crowd. Hopefully we will have a good crowd Thursday night to begin the home schedule because our teams are playing very hard right now and they deserve the support of our fans.”
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 November 2008 )|
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