|Strong second half lifts EMCC men to 11th straight win, 81-63, over Holmes; Lady Lions fall 52-42|
SCOOBA – Outscoring the visitors 48-26 in the second half, the Lions of East Mississippi Community College extended their winning streak to 11 consecutive games with an 81-63 victory over Holmes CC Thursday night in MACJC North Division basketball action at EMCC’s Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. In the opener, the visiting Holmes women earned a 52-42 win over EMCC’s Lady Lions.
The nightcap began with the home-standing Lions hitting their first eight shots from the field and bolting to a 20-3 advantage six minutes into the contest. The Bulldogs proceeded to chip away at EMCC’s double-digit lead, as freshman guard Torrance Rowe tallied his 18 first-half points over the final 8:19 of the opening period to stake the visitors to a 37-33 halftime lead.
Despite three EMCC starters being saddled with four fouls early in the second stanza, head coach Mark White received valuable contributions from his bench following intermission to steadily reclaim the lead and eventually roll to the twin-digit outcome. Collectively after the break, the Lions shot 58 percent (14-of-24) from the field, including 4-of-5 accuracy from beyond the arc, while limiting Holmes to just 9-of-30 (30%) field-goal shooting in the second half. EMCC also benefitted from 83-percent (24-of-29) shooting from the charity stripe on the night.
Moving to 14-2 overall with their 11th straight victory, the EMCC Lions have now picked up 13 of their 14 wins on the year by double figures. Their only two losses of the current campaign were during the month of November on the home courts of nationally ranked Northwest Florida State and Shelton State. The Lions’ 7-0 mark in league play this season makes the two-time defending NJCAA Region 23 champions now 29-2 in regular-season action against MACJC North Division competition dating back to the 2009-10 season.
Off the bench against Holmes, sophomore Deon Bedford matched his career high with a team-best 19 points, including 3-of-5 from three-point range and 6-of-6 from the line. The former West Oktibbeha High School product also led the Lions with eight rebounds, with five of those coming on the offensive boards. Fellow sophomores D.J. Evans and Colin Borchert followed with 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the winners.
Falling to 12-6 overall and 4-3 within the division, Holmes received a game-high 22 points from Rowe, though only four came after halftime, while DeAndre Scott added 17 points.
In the opening game, head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions battled defensively once again but couldn’t manage enough offense down the stretch against the division’s current second-place team. Down by just a bucket (25-23) at the break, the EMCC women still found themselves solidly in the contest midway through the second half. However, after Chadisty Hickman’s 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to four points (44-40) at the 5:38 mark, the Lady Lions could not convert another basket for the remainder of the contest.
Hickman, a former Kemper County High School standout, led all scorers with 19 points, but she was the only Lady Lion to reach double figures. The EMCC women fell to 5-12 overall and 2-5 in division play with their third straight setback.
Improving to 13-3 overall and 6-1 within the division, the Holmes Lady Bulldogs were led by Kierra Gilmore and Dierra Gilmore with 18 and 11 points, respectively.
The East Mississippi basketball teams will play on the road twice next week, traveling to Northwest Mississippi CC on Monday and then Northeast Mississippi on Thursday. EMCC’s next home hoops action will be Monday, Feb. 13, against rival Meridian Community College in Scooba.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 February 2012 )|
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