|EMCC resumes North Division hoops play by hosting Itawamba Monday|
SCOOBA – The East Mississippi basketball teams resume MACJC North Division competition Monday night on the Scooba campus by playing host to divisional foe Itawamba. A 5:30 p.m. women’s tilt will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. men’s contest at EMCC’s Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.
In Monday’s opener, the women’s game will feature a pair of teams who finished with identical 11-1 divisional marks atop the North Division standings a year ago. Head coach Sharon Thompson’s Lady Lions earned the divisional championship and resulting No. 1 seed in last year’s MACJC State Tournament by virtue of winning the tiebreaker. The 2008-09 EMCC women went on to claim the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament title and earn the school’s first NJCAA Tournament appearance since the 1977-78 campaign.
This season with only two players returning from last year’s 25-7 club, the Lady Lions enter Monday’s ICC matchup with a 7-6 overall record after dropping a 52-44 decision at Meridian last Wednesday. EMCC is 1-1 in divisional play, having bounced back from a 79-73 setback at Northwest Mississippi with an 85-50 home triumph over Coahoma before the Christmas break.
The 2009-10 Lady Lions feature a pair of double-digit scorers on the year in reigning MACJC All-North State selection Martika Hull and freshman guard Natalie Tate. A former standout at Southeast Lauderdale High School, Hull is averaging a team-high 12.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, along with shooting 56 percent from the field. Tate, from Columbus High School, follows at an even dozen points an outing and has been EMCC’s top three-point threat with 17 made treys on the year.
Head coach Mark White’s Lions are 12-2 overall this season after completing a regular-season series sweep of Meridian with last Wednesday’s 78-45 road win over the Eagles. EMCC is 2-0 in divisional play with victories over Northwest Mississippi (72-64) and Coahoma (89-63) prior to the holiday break. A year ago, the 17-11 Lions swept the eventual North Division champions, winning 85-83 at Itawamba and claiming an 81-73 home decision over the Indians.
This year’s EMCC club enters Monday’s contest on a four-game winning streak, having collectively held the opposition to an average of just 57.5 points per game during that stretch. As a team, the Lions are averaging 81 points an outing on the season, including three games with 90 or more points.
Individually, preseason NJCAA All-American CoCo Ware leads a balanced scoring attack for the Lions, who feature six different players averaging 8.0 points per game or better for the year. A sophomore guard from Starkville, Ware averages a team-best 18.1 points, in addition to contributing 5.9 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.4 assists per contest. Freshman playmaker Anthony Alexander rates as EMCC’s No. 2 scorer on the season at 13.8 points an outing. The Nashville product leads the Lions with 21 made 3-pointers on the year, along with handing out a team-best 4.1 assists per game and pulling down 4.8 rebounds.
Monday’s EMCC-ICC basketball doubleheader from Scooba can be heard on FM95 (95.7) with ICC’s Will Kollmeyer calling the play-by-play action. The radio broadcasts can also be accessed by logging onto www.fm95radio.com and www.iccms.edu beginning at 5:10 p.m.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 10 January 2010 )|
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