|Top eight seeds advance to Wednesday's state tournament hoops semifinals|
SCOOBA – The top eight seeds have advanced to Wednesday’s semifinals of the EMCC-hosted 2010 MACJC State Basketball Tournament, as all four No. 1 and 2 women’s seeds prevailed in Tuesday’s opening-round women’s action at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus.
In Tuesday’s nightcap, featuring a rematch of last year’s NJCAA Region 23 championship contest, the nationally third-ranked Lady Wolves of Copiah-Lincoln remained unbeaten (24-0) on the season by claiming a 73-65 decision over the host EMCC Lady Lions. Prior to Tuesday, the EMCC women were the last team to knock off Co-Lin with last year’s 52-43 victory in the regional title game contested at Mississippi College in Clinton.
Nearly a year removed from last season’s victory over Copiah-Lincoln which sent the Lady Lions to the NJCAA Tournament for the first time since 1978, head coach Sharon Thompson’s Lady Lions stayed with the undefeated Lady Wolves for the first 30 minutes before a 10-0 Co-Lin run gave the visitors a seven-point lead (58-51) with nine minutes remaining. After trailing by just a single digit (32-31) at halftime, EMCC battled the Lady Wolves to six second-half deadlocks before the visitors went on their momentum-swinging run with 11 minutes left in the contest.
Freshman guard Natalie Tate of Columbus gave the Lady Lions a brief 51-48 lead, but Co-Lin’s Nadia Collins answered with a trey of her own just under the 11-minute mark to spark the Lady Wolves to their 10-0 run. It wasn’t until Shelby Crawford hit a jumper with less than nine minutes left that the home team was able to score again. EMCC’s 2-minute offensive dry spell saw a three-point lead turn into a seven-point advantage for the visitors.
Despite the Co-Lin run, the Lady Lions were able to hang with the Lady Wolves until the final minute of play. With 1:40 left on the clock, sophomore forward Martika Hull converted a three-point play to pull EMCC to within five points (68-63). However, the home team couldn’t convert on a three-point shot attempt and committed a costly turnover shortly thereafter to seal their fate.
Falling to 14-12 on the season and having their three-game win streak snapped, the Lady Lions were led by Hull’s 16th career-double. The reigning MACJC All-North State performer by way of Southeast Lauderdale scored a game-high 26 points, including 6-of-9 shooting in the second half, and added a career-most 17 rebounds. Sophomore Raona Stowers, of Noxubee County High School, added a season-high 12 points, while Natalie Tate finished with 10.
Rachel Vigers led Copiah-Lincoln with 19 points, followed by Brandi Simmons and Latoria Holder with 17 and 15 points, respectively.
In other women’s first-round action, No. 2 North seed Itawamba beat Southwest Mississippi, 69-55, to earn the right to meet Co-Lin in Wednesday’s 5:30 p.m. semifinal-round contest. Tuesday’s women’s action began with the defending state champions of Jones County notching a come-from-behind 89-78 overtime win over Mississippi Delta. The second-seeded JCJC Lady Bobcats will meet North Division champion Northwest Mississippi, who claimed an 80-74 victory over East Central, at noon to tip off Wednesday’s semifinals.
Wednesday’s semifinal-round men’s action will feature South Division champion and 25th-ranked Pearl River against No. 2 North seed Itawamba at 2 p.m., followed by head coach Mark White’s 12th-ranked East Mississippi Lions versus No. 2 South seed and reigning state champion Jones County in Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. nightcap at EMCC’s Currie Coliseum.
Thursday’s championship contests will take place at 5:30 p.m. (women’s) and 7:30 p.m. (men’s) on the Scooba campus.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 February 2010 )|
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