|EMCC Lady Lions win big over Pearl River; Lions fall 82-79 to PRCC in home openers|
SCOOBA, Miss. – The East Mississippi Lady Lions claimed their fourth straight win to begin the year with an easy 71-43 home triumph over Pearl River Thursday night, while the EMCC men went to the wire with the Wildcats before falling, 82-79, in the nightcap of the teams’ home basketball openers at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus.
After winning their first three games of the season by a combined seven points, coach Sharon Thompson’s 4-0 Lady Lions had this one in hand virtually from the opening tip-off. Relentless defensive pressure and command of the offensive boards helped give the EMCC women a 42-15 halftime advantage. That margin ballooned to 43 points (63-20) by the 7:34 mark of the second half before PRCC outscored East Mississippi’s second unit, 21-2, over a four-minute span to cut the deficit to 24 points (65-41) with 3:29 remaining. The Lady Lions would gain their composure and cruise to the 28-point home victory.
“I was pleased that we played the way we wanted to play for the most part, maybe with the exception of that span late in the game,” Thompson said. “It was nice not having to sweat out a game right up until the very end. Plus, we were able to give some other players some well-deserved minutes out there tonight.”
With all but one of the team’s dozen players getting into the scoring column against Pearl River, freshman Martika Hull of Meridian led the Lady Lions with 12 points. Sophomores Angelique Burtts and Sanitra Bush followed with 10 points each. For the game, EMCC connected on 28-of-55 (51%) from the field, while limiting PRCC to just 17-of-52 (33%) field-goal shooting.
In the nightcap, coach Mark White’s Lions built as much as an 11-point lead (26-15) midway through the opening half with the help of a half-dozen 3-pointers by the 10:20 mark. However, EMCC became reliant on the outside shot the rest of the half and was outscored, 17-5, over the final 10 minutes of the half to trail by one point (32-31) at the intermission.
After getting down by as many as 11 points (54-43) early in the second half, the Lions capped a 14-5 run with a three-point play by Woodie Howard to knot the score at 70-70 with five minutes left. However, EMCC could never reclaim the lead and eventually had to resort to shooting the 3-pointer and fouling Pearl River to have a chance in the end. With the home team down by four points (80-76) with eight seconds left after two made free throws by PRCC’s Randy Perkins, Lion freshman guard Coco Ware of Starkville nailed his seventh trey of the contest to make it a one-point game. Following two more made charity tosses by Perkins with three seconds left, EMCC was able to find Ware on the right wing with two crisp passes starting from under their own basket for a potential game-tying trey attempt. However, Ware’s heroics were not to be, as the 1-3 Lions dropped their third decision in four outings by 10 points or less.
“Once again, we were right there at the end,” White noted. “The kids are giving it everything they’ve got, but the breaks just haven’t gone our way to begin the season. We’ll get right back in the gym to get ready for East Central Monday night in another big home game for us.”
Ware, a product of Starkville High School, netted a game-high 29 points on the strength of seven made 3-pointers. Columbus’ Darian Donald and Johnathon Harris of Starkville followed with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Sophomore forward Donta Smith, a preseason NJCAA All-American Second Team selection for the Wildcats, recorded a double-double with 23 points (8-10 FGs & 7-11 FTs) and 13 rebounds. With five players scoring in double figures, Timothy Ware and Rod Little followed with 16 and 11 points, respectively, for the winners.
As a team, the Wildcats were able to outscore EMCC by 14 points from the charity stripe along with attempting 21 more free throws than the home team. Pearl River connected on 54 percent of their shot attempts for the game, though the Lions finished with 11 made three-point baskets.
East Mississippi will stay at home to play host to East Central Monday night in Scooba. A 5:30 p.m. women’s game will be followed by the men’s contest at 7:30 p.m. at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. Just last week in Decatur, the Lady Lions knocked off the 13th-ranked and defending Region 23 champion Lady Warriors, 62-60, while the Lions dropped a 73-63 decision to ECCC in the nightcap.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 14 November 2008 )|
|< Prev||Next >|