|Top-seeded EMCC Lady Lions fall to Gulf Coast 67-60 in opening round of state hoops tournament|
WESSON – The top-seeded East Mississippi Lady Lions recovered from an early double-digit deficit but couldn’t sustain the momentum in falling 67-60 to No. 4 South seed Mississippi Gulf Coast in Monday’s opening round of the 2011 MACJC State Basketball Tournament being played at Copiah-Lincoln’s Mullen Gymnasium.
The Lady Bulldogs put the North Division champions on the defensive early with a 12-0 run that put MGCCC on top 17-7 by the 13:35 mark of the opening half. Trailing for most of the period, the Lady Lions strung together eight answered points, keyed by back-to-back 3-pointers by sophomore Natalie Tate, to knot the score at 27-27 with 5:45 remaining before halftime.
After Gulf Coast added to its 35-30 halftime lead with a basket to begin the second stanza, the EMCC women again chipped away at the deficit. Midway through the period, the Lady Lions briefly took the lead, 46-45, for the first time since three minutes into the contest on consecutive baskets by Jamie Gunter and Chadisty Hickman. MGCCC countered with an inside score by Nicole Edwards and two free throws by Brianne Collins to reclaim the advantage.
In falling to 14-9 on the year, the Lady Lions would not be able to make up the deficit the remainder of the contest as Gulf Coast pulled away for the seven-point upset victory. Gunter and Tate, former prep teammates at Columbus High School, led EMCC with 17 and 16 points, respectively. Hickman, a former Kemper County standout, added a dozen points and five assists.
Improving to 16-8 overall, Mississippi Gulf Coast had four players score in double figures. Edwards paced the winners with 16 points, followed by Brianna Blunt and Deonica McCormick with 13 points apiece.
Head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions will now await participation in next week’s NJCAA Region 23 Tournament, slated to begin Monday at Mississippi College in Clinton.
The 13th-ranked and top-seeded East Mississippi Lions, two-time defending MACJC North Division men’s champions, will take on the Warriors of East Central at 6 p.m. during Tuesday’s opening-round men’s action of this week’s Co-Lin-hosted MACJC State Basketball Tournament. All men’s and women’s game results from the 2011 MACJC State Tournament will be available throughout the week at www.jucoweekly.com.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 21 February 2011 )|
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