|No. 14 EMCC Lions win 16th straight with 72-63 home victory over ICC; Lady Lions fall 58-32|
SCOOBA – The 14th-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College won their 16th consecutive game with a 72-63 home triumph over Itawamba Community College in MACJC North Division basketball action Monday night at EMCC’s Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. In the women’s contest, the ICC Lady Indians clinched the division title with a convincing 58-32 victory over EMCC’s Lady Lions during Sophomore Night activities on the Scooba campus.
A red-hot EMCC men’s squad bolted out of the gates by jumping out to a 20-point lead (26-6) midway through the opening period. Not letting up the remainder of the period, the Lions closed out the first half with a seemingly insurmountable 48-17 halftime advantage.
The Indians scored the opening points of the second stanza and methodically whittled away at the sizeable deficit. With the visitors still trailing by 20 points five minutes into the closing period, ICC freshman DJ Gardner almost single handedly brought the Indians back within reach down the stretch. Scoring 17 of his game-high 21 points following intermission, the former Okolona standout made it an 11-point game (67-56) with his fourth 3-pointer of the half coming with four minutes left in the contest. His fifth and final trey of the half reduced the final margin to single digits, though the home-standing Lions were never seriously threatened despite the impressive ICC rally.
With their current string of 16 straight wins following a tough 3-2 start on the year, head coach Mark White’s EMCC Lions improved to 19-2 overall and 11-0 in division play. The three-time MACJC North Division regular-season champions will go after win No. 20 on the year Thursday night at Coahoma. A road triumph over the Tigers would also give White his 100th career victory of his five-year EMCC head coaching stint.
Sophomore transfer forward Colin Borchert led the Lions with 16 points and eight rebounds against Itawamba. Millaun Brown, of West Bolivar High School, followed with 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting along with seven boards, as the Lions claimed their ninth straight series win over rival Itawamba dating back to the 2008-09 campaign.
Falling to 9-13 overall and 5-6 within the division, Itawamba also received 16 points from Tre’ Wells to go along with Gardner’s double-double effort of 21 points and 10 rebounds.
In the women’s contest, the Lady Indians led from start to finish, owning a comfortable 36-20 halftime margin on the road. ICC’s advantage ballooned to as many as 33 points late in the game before the visitors settled for the 26-point outcome.
Improving to 20-2 overall and staying unbeaten in division play with an 11-0 league mark, Itawamba Community College will play host to next week’s MACJC State Basketball Tournament in Fulton. The four-day men’s and women’s tournament will begin on Monday (Feb. 27) at the Davis Event Center on the ICC campus.
The Lady Indians were paced by Shay Bonner and Jameika Hoskins with 16 and 11 points, respectively, for the winners.
Head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions, now 7-15 overall and 4-7 in division play, were led by Alvida Clemons with 12 points, though the sophomore guard struggled with 4-of-20 shooting on the night. Former Kemper County product Chadisty Hickman tied her season low with just five points on only 2-of-15 shooting from the field.
The East Mississippi basketball teams close out their regular-season slate Thursday night in Clarkdale against Coahoma Community College.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 20 February 2012 )|
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