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EMCC Lions top rival East Central 82-72 in Decatur; Lady Lions downed 49-41 by ECCC
 December 7, 2012

DECATUR – Sophomore Jarekious Bradley, the NJCAA’s leading scorer, matched his season’s average of 28 points to help lead the Lions of East Mississippi Community College to an 82-72 road victory over East Central Community College Thursday evening at the Brackeen-Wood Physical Education Building.  In the women’s contest, the Lady Warriors prevailed 49-41 over the visiting EMCC women.Head coach Mark White’s EMCC Lions grabbed the early advantage over the winless Warriors.  A 13-2 run by the visitors increased a narrow 20-17 lead to 14 points (33-19) late in the opening half.  The Lions stretched the margin to 18 points (43-25) before resting on a 43-28 halftime cushion.

East Mississippi maintained its double-digit lead for the early portion of the second half until nine unanswered points by the Warriors trimmed a 16-point deficit to seven points (67-60) with less than six minutes remaining.  East Central shaved the margin to six points on a couple of occasions late in the contest, but Bradley tallied eight of his 17 second-half points down the stretch to nail down the victory.

With the 10-point triumph, the EMCC Lions improved to 5-1 overall on the season and claimed their 10th consecutive series win over East Central dating back to the 2008-09 campaign.  The Lions will now look to avenge their lone loss of the current season by traveling to Baton Rouge Community College for a Monday night (Dec. 10) rematch with the Bears.  BRCC previously earned a 79-76 overtime road win over EMCC back on Nov. 12 in Scooba.

Sophomore Micah Walker (Jonesboro, Ark.) along with freshmen Jacolby Mobley, of Starkville, and Mack Foster, a West Bolivar High School product, each added a dozen points apiece for the winners.

In the women’s game, seven lead changes marked a sluggish opening half of play by both teams.  The visiting Lady Lions held an 18-17 halftime edge and went ahead by four points early in the second half.  The Lady Warriors responded by putting together a pair of 10-0 runs later in the half to establish control of the contest.

Three straight baskets by EMCC freshman Nockeyia Qualls enabled the visitors to rally from a 43-31 deficit.  Two free throws by fellow frosh Takera Mitchell, of Wayne County, capped an 8-0 spurt by the Lady Lions that sliced the margin to just four points (43-39) with 2:26 left in regulation.

That’s when East Central sophomore guard Jaianah Matthew took charge and finished off her 21-point effort by hitting a clutch 3-pointer and converting 3-of-4 free throws over the final two minutes to secure the Lady Warriors’ eight-point home triumph.

Matching her season high of 10 points, Qualls, a Forest High School product, was the lone Lady Lion player in double figures.  Mitchell, EMCC’s leading scorer on the season, was limited to a season-low four points on the night.

The Lady Warriors, now 4-6 on the season, also received 10 points from Tyneisa Mickens.

Falling to 1-9 on the season with their eighth straight defeat, head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions take a month-long hiatus from hardwood competition for the Christmas holidays before returning to action on Jan. 8 by welcoming the same East Central squad to the Scooba campus.        

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