|No. 12 EMCC Lions conclude hoops season with 74-56 consolation loss to Western Wyoming|
HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Battling from behind the entire contest for the second straight game, the 12th-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College saw their 2010-11 campaign come to a close by falling 74-56 to Western Wyoming in Thursday’s consolation action of the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship being held at the Sports Arena.
The Lions, who trailed for nearly the entire 40 minutes of Tuesday’s 76-66 first-round setback to Southeastern (Iowa) CC, fell victim to a pair of 14-0 runs by Western Wyoming in Thursday’s consolation play en route to being eliminated from the 64th annual national tournament.
Following a Donovan Walker driving basket that evened the game at 11-11 for EMCC, the Mustangs of WWCC reeled off 14 unanswered points to bolt to a 25-11 advantage by the 8:33 mark. With the Lions being hampered by 10 first-half turnovers, Western Wyoming maintained a 38-25 halftime lead.
As all-region sophomore guard Deonte Alexander got hot from the outside, East Mississippi made a second-half charge and trimmed the deficit to seven points (49-42) on Alexander’s third of six second-half 3-pointers coming at the 10:56 mark. That momentum seemed to slip away almost instantly as Ian Matos promptly drove baseline for an easy basket on WWCC’s ensuing possession. That score was the impetus for another 14-0 charge by the Mustangs over the next six minutes which culminated with a 63-42 margin with 5:09 remaining in the contest.
Though EMCC’s Alexander pumped in 11 of his game-high 23 points over the final five minutes of the contest, the Lions never got any closer than 15 points the rest of the way in closing out the campaign with a 25-5 overall record. With a composite record of 52-12 over the past two seasons, head coach Mark White’s EMCC Lions repeated as Region 23 and MACJC North Division champions en route to making a second consecutive appearance in the NJCAA Tournament.
An All-American candidate from Nashville, Tenn., Alexander was the lone EMCC player in double figures against WWCC with 20 of his 23 points coming after halftime. Having earned all-tourney honors during last year’s national tournament, Alexander drilled seven 3-pointers in 11 attempts against Western Wyoming and finished this year’s tournament with 44 points in two outings. The 6-foot-1 backcourt standout completed his two-year EMCC career with 952 career points.
Fellow all-region performer Jonathan King followed with nine points for East Mississippi.
Representing District 9/Region 9 and making the school’s first-ever appearance in the NJCAA Tournament, the Mustangs of Western Wyoming were led by Rodrigo de Souza’s 17 points. In improving to 26-10 on the season, WWCC also received 10 points apiece from Jordan Hayter and Trevin Harris.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 March 2011 )|
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