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Bobcats clinch playoff berth with OT victory over No. 17 Pearl River
 February 19, 2013

By Shawn Wansley, JCJC Sports Information Director

POPLARVILLE  – It was almost déjà vu all over again.

But this time, the Jones County Junior College Bobcats prevailed over the 17th-ranked Pearl River Community College Wildcats, 76-74 in overtime here Monday night at Shivers Gymnasium.

The Wildcats hit a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left in regulation to force overtime – just like they did on Jan. 24 when they went on to defeat the Bobcats, 83-79 in double overtime.

But this time, the Bobcats would outscore Pearl River 7-5 in the extra session to grab the win and clinch a berth in the MACJC State Tournament, which will be played at Pearl River on Feb. 25-28.

Pearl River is currently 8-3 in the South Division, while Southwest has concluded league play at 8-4 and JCJC is 7-4. If JCJC beats East Central and Pearl River loses to Co-Lin on Thursday, there would be a three-way tie for first place.

But Pearl River comes out on top in the tiebreaker by virtue of their sweep of Mississippi Gulf Coast. If Pearl River wins on Thursday, they win the division outright. The top seed out of the men’s South Division hosts the state tournament this year.

In the women’s game, the Lady Bobcats dropped an 83-71 decision to PRCC. That gives JCJC a 5-6 league record, which matches East Central for fourth place in the division. The winner of Thursday’s game between the Lady Bobcats and ECCC would clinch fourth place in the division and qualify for the state tournament, while the loser is eliminated from postseason play.

It will be “Sophomore Night” on Thursday when JCJC hosts East Central. Basketball players, cheerleaders and Gold Rush dance team sophomores will be recognized.

The women’s game tips off at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 8 p.m. Both games will be webcast on www.jcjc.tv with Mark Easley and Shawn Wansley on the call.

Pearl River ends regular season play at Copiah-Lincoln on Thursday.

Bobcats 76, Wildcats 74 (OT)

The game was nip and tuck throughout.

The Wildcats took a 64-62 lead with 3:49 left in regulation when Kaven Bernard hit two free throws. JCJC tied it when Donta Pittman scored at the 3:00 mark.

After a couple of exchanges of possessions, Pearl River missed a shot and the Bobcats got the rebound. JCJC got the ball to Pittman, who drove to the goal, scored and was fouled. He made the free throw to give the Bobcats a 67-64 lead with 28.5 seconds left.

DeAngelo Coleman scored with 24.4 seconds to make it 67-66. J.J. Bolton was then fouled and made both free throws to put the Bobcats ahead 69-66 with 19.7 seconds left.

The Wildcats came down and missed a shot, but got the rebound. Coleman got the ball and threw up a 3-pointer that went in with 2.6 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime.

The Bobcats took a 73-71 lead on a Cory Jackson basket with 3:58 left, but Pearl River took a 74-73 with 1:38 left when Xavian Rimmer converted a 3-point play.

After an exchange of possessions, the Bobcats got the ball to Detrick Davis. Davis hit a 15-foot, baseline jumper to put Jones ahead 75-74 with 24.3 seconds left.

Rimmer then missed a jumper and Frank Snow missed on a tap in effort. Bolton grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 8.4 seconds left.

He made the first shot, but missed the second. However, Pittman got inside and got the rebound. He passed it out to Davis, who was fouled with 2.7 seconds left.

Davis missed both shots and Pearl River got the rebound. Jeremy Hollimon was able to attempt a shot from near midcourt, but it hit off the front rim and the Bobcats breathed a sigh of relief.

Pearl River led by as much as 14-7 in the first half, but JCJC trimmed it 35-34 at halftime. PRCC’s biggest lead in the second half was at 51-44 with just over 11 minutes left. JCJC’s longest of the game was three points on two occasions in the final 28.5 seconds of regulation.

Pittman led the Bobcats, 16-6 overall, with 17 points. Bolton added 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Tanner Wozniak had 13 points, including four 3-pointers. Jackson had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Rimmer had 17 points for Pearl River, 18-4 overall. Bernard added 11 points and Snow had 10.

The Bobcats were 30-of-61 from the floor, including 6-of-18 from 3-point range, for 49 percent. JCJC was 10-of-16 from the foul line.

Pearl River was 25-of-62 from the field, including 5-of-22 from beyond the arc, for 40 percent. The Wildcats were 19-of-26 from the free throw line.

Each team had 37 rebounds, while the Bobcats committed 15 turnovers, compared to 16 for Pearl River.

Lady Wildcats 83, Lady Bobcats 71

JCJC took a 35-27 lead with 2:59 left in the first half when Precious Jefferson scored. But Pearl River scored the half’s final 13 points and took a 40-35 lead at intermission.

The Lady Wildcats maintained the lead in the second half and went ahead 70-56 with 4:29 left when Kalisha Washington made a free throw. JCJC then cut the lead to 70-62 with 3:19 to play on a pair of Kiara Speed free throws.

The Lady Bobcats were within 74-66 after a LaTisha McCullum 3-point play with 1:56 left, but Pearl River then went on a 7-0 run to put the game away. The Lady Wildcats took their longest lead of the evening at 81-66 with 1:06 to play when Rebekah Harwell scored off an offensive rebound.

McCullum led five Lady Bobcats in double figures with 16 points. Zana Bridges added 15, Jefferson had 13, while Caitlyn Spane and Speed added 11 each. Speed had eight rebounds and McCullum finished with eight assists.

The Lady Bobcats are now 10-9 overall.

Washington led Pearl River, 8-11 overall and 4-7 in the division, with 25 points. Valescia Dixon added 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Jeronda Beason had nine assists.

JCJC was 26-of-66 from the field, including 6-of-20 from 3-point range, for 39 percent. They were 13-of-19 from the foul line.

The Lady Wildcats were 34-of-60 from the floor, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, for 57 percent. They were also 13-of-19 from 3-point range.

Each team was credited with 36 rebounds, while Pearl River committed 24 turnovers compared to 22 for JCJC.

JCJC defeated Pearl River 74-70 earlier in the season.

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