|EMCC basketball teams claim fifth straight division sweep with pair of home wins over Northeast|
SCOOBA – In a makeup doubleheader postponed two days due to Thursday's inclement weather, the East Mississippi Community College basketball teams registered their fifth straight sweep in division play by claiming a pair of home triumphs over Northeast Mississippi Saturday afternoon at EMCC’s Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. The Lady Lions won their fifth consecutive contest by cruising to a 90-70 victory over the Northeast women, while the 15th-ranked Lions extended their winning streak to eight straight games with a 74-61 triumph over the visiting Tigers.
In Saturday’s opener, head coach Sharon Thompson’s Lady Lions broke open a close contest by scoring 15 unanswered points at the start of the second half to take a 52-30 advantage just five minutes into the period. By the midway point of the half, the EMCC cushion had ballooned to an insurmountable 30-point spread (65-35).
Hitting a sizzling 68 percent (23-of-34 FGs) from the field after intermission mainly on fast-break baskets, the Lady Lions extended the margin to 34 points (78-44) with their up-tempo offense before Northeast rattled off 15 unanswered points late in the contest to cut the deficit to 18 points (81-63) under the 2:00 mark. Now 12-7 overall on the year and solidly in second place within the MACJC’s North Division standings with a 7-2 league mark, the EMCC women would go on to score a season-high 90 points in the contest on the strength of a season-best 59-percent shooting effort (39-of-66 FGs) from the field.
With 16 of her game-high 21 points coming in the second half on 6-of-7 shooting after the break, sophomore guard Natalie Tate paced five double-figure scorers for the EMCC women. The former Columbus High School product hit 4-of-5 shots from beyond the three-point arc in the second half, along with handing out four assists and claiming four rebounds following intermission.
Fellow sophomore Kierra Jones, of Starkville, had 14 points, while Columbus’ Jamie Gunter tallied all 12 of her points after halftime on 6-of-7 second-half shooting. Freshmen Kiara Quinonez-Noa and Raven Howard followed with 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the winners.
The Northeast women, falling to 10-9 overall and 5-4 within the division, were led by Patra Hubbard and Anna Brooke Page with 17 and 12 points, respectively.
In the men’s nightcap, a 17-2 run by the home team midway through the second half proved to be the turning point in the contest. With the game tied at 33-all at the half, Northeast took a seven-point lead (43-36) four minutes into the second period. With the visitors still holding a 47-42 lead at the 13:00 mark, EMCC freshman Deon Bedford came off the bench to provide a spark for the Lions. The former West Oktibbeha High School product followed a three-point play with subsequent mid-range jumpers to help stake EMCC to a 59-49 advantage with 9:02 remaining in the game.
The Tigers would trim the deficit to five points (61-56) with less than seven minutes left, but EMCC sophomore Jonathan King scored inside and later added a pair of free throws to re-establish control for the home-standing Lions. A native of Panama City, Panama, King paced a quintet of twin-digit EMCC scorers by registering his ninth double-double of the season with a game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Freshman point guard D.J. Evans, an All-Jackson Metro selection a year ago at Brandon High School, totaled 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the winning effort. Improving to 18-2 overall and remaining unbeaten in nine division decisions with their eighth consecutive victory, head coach Mark White's reigning NJCAA Region 23 champions also received 11 points apiece from Bedford, Deonte Alexander and Meridian’s Donovan Walker.
Falling to 9-11 overall and 5-4 in division play, Northeast Mississippi received 18 points from Jermaine Holliman, though he was held to 5-of-19 shooting on the day. Tyler Pritchard and Robert Wade added 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the visitors.
The East Mississippi basketball teams will bid to extend their divisional win streaks by traveling to Moorhead to take on Mississippi Delta on Thursday (Feb. 10). EMCC will then head to Fulton to meet Itawamba on Monday, Feb. 14.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 05 February 2011 )|
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