SCOOBA – Hitting 62 percent from the field for the game, the East Mississippi Community College men's basketball team breezed to a 94-61 home victory over rival Meridian Community College Thursday night at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. The visiting MCC Lady Eagles improved to 10-1 on the year by downing the EMCC women 61-45 in the opener.
The host Lions connected on six of their first seven field-goal attempts, including hitting their first four three-point tries, in mounting an early double-digit advantage. The margin increased to 20 points (33-13) by the 7:35 mark and grew to as many as 24 points a few minutes later, as EMCC maintained a 47-36 halftime advantage.
Following a 55-percent shooting effort through the opening 20 minutes of play, the Lions stepped it up in the second stanza by knocking down a sizzling 70 percent of their field-goal attempts after halftime. For the game, the EMCC men hit 32-of-52 shots from the field while also converting 85 percent (23-of-27) of their free-throw attempts.
In winning for the 10th consecutive time against Meridian dating back to the 2009-10 season, including an 82-76 road win over the Eagles to tip off the current season, head coach Mark White's EMCC Lions improved to 8-2 on the season.
Avery Woodson's game-high 21 points led a quintet of twin-digit scorers for East Mississippi. Davon "Chuck" Ester followed with 17 points on 7-of-8 field-goal shooting, while former Kemper County High School standout Devonta Pollard registered his second double-double of the season with 15 points on 5-of-6 field goals and 5-of-5 free throws to go along with 10 rebounds. Guards Nick Giles and Jacolby Mobley added 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the winning effort.
Falling to 1-9 on the season, head coach Cedric Drake's MCC Eagles were paced by Corey Brister's 13 points. Kenny Davis and Brandon Daniels added 11 points apiece for Meridian.
In women's action, EMCC and Meridian battled through three ties in the opening half before the Lady Eagles scored the final five points before the half to take a 23-18 lead into the locker room.
Coming out of the break, the visitors built the lead to eight points (28-20) by the 17:26 mark of the second half. Capped by a 3-pointer by freshman guard Dana Gettis, the Lady Lions went on a 14-3 run to take a brief 34-31 lead midway through the closing period. However, despite inside threat Miaya Crowder picking up her fourth foul with 8:50 remaining, Meridian countered with a game-changing 11-0 spurt soon thereafter to reclaim the advantage at 46-37 with 4:50 left in the contest.
With a balanced scoring attack, head coach Jocelyn McGilberry's Lady Eagles were led by Kristen Sampson and Victoria Stewart with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Dropping to 6-5 for the season, head coach Sharon Thompson's EMCC Lady Lions were led by Gettis and Jaylen Cox with 10 points apiece.
The East Mississippi basketball teams resume MACJC North Division play by traveling to Moorhead to meet Mississippi Delta in a Monday doubleheader before returning to the Scooba campus to play host to Northeast Mississippi on Thursday, Jan. 16. Game times at EMCC's Currie Coliseum are set for 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.