|Lions hold on for 65-61 victory at Northwest to ring up 12th straight win; Lady Lions lose 70-66|
SENATOBIA – The visiting Lions of East Mississippi Community College held on for a hard-fought 65-61 victory at Northwest Mississippi Monday night to run their winning streak to 12 consecutive games and remain unbeaten in MACJC North Division play. The Lady Rangers prevailed in the women’s contest, 70-66, over the EMCC Lady Lions at Howard Coliseum on the Northwest campus.
After bolting to a quick 10-0 lead four minutes into the contest, head coach Mark White’s EMCC Lions maintained their advantage throughout the opening 20 minutes. Following a 34-28 halftime lead, the visitors opened the second half with a 9-1 run to take their biggest lead of the game at 14 points (43-29) by the 16:40 mark.
The home-standing Rangers steadily chipped away at the deficit and managed to take their first lead of the night, 51-50, on a driving basket by Kenyatta Jones following a steal with 6:56 remaining. EMCC sophomore playmaker D.J. Evans stepped up to knock down a clutch 3-pointer coming out of a timeout to put the Lions back on top, 53-51, to stay.
The Lions’ 12th straight victory since November and 10th consecutive series win over Northwest Mississippi dating back to the 2007-08 campaign would not come without a fight, however. With the contest stalled at 57-54 in favor of the road team for more than three minutes down the stretch, EMCC sophomore Millaun Brown broke the late-game scoring drought with a bucket with 30 seconds left. After both teams traded a pair of free throws, Northwest’s Everick Morris scored on a drive to make it a one-possession game with 21 seconds remaining.
The contest got even more interesting after Evans lost the ball out of bounds coming out of a timeout. Northwest’s Domonique Harris misfired on a contested three-point attempt that would have been the potential game-tying basket. Evans redeemed himself by nailing four straight free throws over the final 11 seconds to seal the Lions’ four-point road triumph.
Evans and forward Colin Borchert tied for game scoring honors with 19 points apiece for the 15-2 EMCC Lions, who sit firmly atop the MACJC’s North Division standings at 8-0 in league play. Brown added 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.
Falling to 8-9 overall and 4-4 within the division, the Northwest Rangers were led by Harris’ 15 points. Jones and Morris followed with 14 points apiece.
In the women’s contest, the visiting Lady Lions bounced back from an early 8-0 deficit to go on top by as many as 11 points (37-26) with 2:17 left in the opening half. EMCC went on to maintain a 39-32 halftime lead.
The Lady Rangers used a 10-2 run to open the second stanza and regain the lead. The story of the second half was EMCC’s inability to advance the basketball out of Northwest’s full-court press, as the Lady Lions were forced into 22 second-half turnovers. The visitors finished with 30 turnovers for the contest.
Despite their turnover woes, the Lady Lions still found themselves in the contest down the stretch. After EMCC trailed by nine points (67-58) with two minutes remaining in the game, sophomore guard Chadisty Hickman scored six unanswered points to cut the Lady Lions’ deficit to just three points (67-64) with 1:08 still left on the game clock. Northwest was able to ice the four-point home win by hitting 3-of-4 charity tosses over the final 22 seconds.
Dropping their fourth straight decision, head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions fell to 5-13 overall and 2-6 within the MACJC’s North Division. Hickman, a former Kemper County standout, was EMCC’s lone scorer in double digits with a game-high 14 points, though she struggled with 4-of-16 shooting from the field. Brianna May, Dajah McCarty and Rachel Adams all added eight points apiece for the visitors.
With three scorers in double figures on the night, the home-standing Lady Rangers improved to 8-9 overall and 2-6 within the division. Tiesha Tunstall and Erica Turner paced the winners with 13 points apiece, while Jearica McBride added a dozen points.
The East Mississippi basketball teams will continue road action this week by heading to Booneville to meet the Tigers of Northeast Mississippi CC Thursday evening with a 5 p.m. women’s game followed by a 7 p.m. men’s contest.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 06 February 2012 )|
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