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EMCC Lady Lions pull out 56-54 home win over Coahoma; Lions fall 78-70 to Tigers in division nightcap
 January 29, 2013

SCOOBA – The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams closed out the first half of their MACJC North Division regular-season slate by splitting Monday’s doubleheader with Coahoma Community College at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.  The EMCC women pulled out a come-from-behind 56-54 victory over the Lady Tigers, while the Lions dropped a 78-70 decision to visiting Coahoma in the nightcap.

The women’s contest was nip and tuck the entire 40 minutes with a seven-point Coahoma lead late in the game marking the game’s largest margin.  After six deadlocks in the opening half of play, the visitors held a slim 28-24 lead at the intermission.

Coming off her first collegiate double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds last Thursday at Northwest Mississippi, EMCC freshman guard Wilma Davis gave the Lady Lions their first lead (33-32) since early in the game by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the second stanza.

The Lady Tigers responded with six unanswered points to reclaim the lead (38-33) with 14 minutes remaining in the contest.  EMCC battled from behind until an inside bucket by Ashley Jackson knotted the score at 43-43 midway through the half.  This time, Coahoma ran off seven straight points to move ahead 50-43 with seven minutes left in regulation.

An 11-2 EMCC run, capped by a Takera Mitchell basket and two made free throws by Dajah McCarty, over the next five minutes put the Lady Lions back on top 54-52 with 1:38 on the game clock.  A 10th tie of the game followed when Coahoma’s Nekeia Evans scored on a put-back basket with 1:11 still to play.

After Coahoma’s Jasmine Brown misfired on an open look from three-point range, Mitchell was not able to connect on a drive to the basket on the other end.  But, with 15.9 seconds left to play, EMCC managed to fight to get the offensive rebound to maintain possession.  Following an EMCC timeout, Davis drove the center of the lane and banked the winning shot off the glass with just 2.1 ticks remaining. 

Led by Davis and Jackson with 16 and 10 points, respectively, head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions improved to 4-13 overall and 2-4 in division play.  Jackson notched her season high in her first collegiate start, while Davis scored in double digits for the fourth consecutive game.

Falling to 4-10 overall and 1-5 within the division, the Coahoma women were led by Bridgette Griffin’s game-high 17 points.

In the nightcap, the Lions were seemingly in control early sporting a 15-4 cushion seven minutes into the contest.  They maintained the advantage throughout the opening 20 minutes of play but had to settle for a 30-27 halftime lead.

The two teams exchanged leads six times before the Tigers tallied seven unanswered points to move ahead 52-46 with just over 13 minutes remaining.  After Coahoma inched ahead by seven points on a couple of occasions, Jarekious Bradley’s 3-pointer cut the deficit to four points (58-54) midway through the half.

En route to scoring 24 of his game-high 26 points in the second half for Coahoma, Patrick Brown answered right back with a three-point play to ignite a 9-2 run that stretched the Tigers’ lead to 67-56 with 5:11 left in regulation.  When Alex Thompson hit two of three free throws after getting fouled on a three-point shot attempt, Coahoma still held a nine-point advantage (72-63) with just 2:25 remaining.

That’s when the Lions turned up the defensive pressure and quickly got right back into the contest.  Earnest Hunter followed an alley-oop dunk from Nick Giles with a steal on the other end, which led to Giles sinking one of two free throws.  A Coahoma turnover then resulted in a put-back basket by Hunter when A.J. Wade’s three-point attempt rolled out.  With 1:34 still left to play, EMCC managed to scramble back to within four points (72-68).

On the game’s next possession, the Lions’ press caused another Coahoma turnover.  With a chance to make it a one-possession ball game, Bradley, the NJCAA’s sixth-leading scorer, failed to draw iron on his three-point attempt.  From there, the Tigers managed to seal the eight-point road victory by hitting six of eight free throws over the game’s final minute.

Falling to 11-6 overall and 4-2 in division play, head coach Mark White’s EMCC Lions dropped a second straight regular-season division game for the first time since the 2008-09 season.  Prior to last Thursday’s 79-67 setback at Northwest Mississippi, EMCC had put together a composite division mark of 37-3 spanning back to the start of the 2009-10 campaign.

Against Coahoma, Bradley paced the Lions with 23 points, followed by Hunter’s 14 points.

Improving to 8-7 overall and 4-2 within the division, Coahoma also received 21 points from Thompson, who scored 13 of his points following the break.  Thompson and Brown combined to score 37 of their 47 total points during the Tigers’ 51-point second half.  Rigueson Desorvil added 16 points for the winners.   

The East Mississippi basketball teams will begin the second half of their regular-season division schedule by playing host to Holmes Community College Thursday evening (Jan. 31) on the Scooba campus.  A 5:30 p.m. women’s game will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. men’s contest at EMCC’s Currie Coliseum. 

All EMCC basketball games throughout the 2012-13 season are slated to be video-streamed live on the school’s Ustream channel at www.ustream.tv/channel/emcc-basketball, which can be easily accessed through the school’s newly launched athletics website, www.EMCCAthletics.com

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