East Mississippi registers much-needed home hoops division sweep over Coahoma

SCOOBA – East Mississippi Community College recorded a much-needed basketball doubleheader sweep over visiting Coahoma Community College during Monday's MACJC North Division action played at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.  The EMCC women erased a 19-point deficit to post a 66-61 comeback win, while the Lions snapped a four-game losing skid with a decisive 83-52 triumph over the Tigers in the men's nightcap.

Shooting 51 percent from the field during the opening 20 minutes of play, the visiting Lady Tigers led EMCC the entire first half.  After owning a 19-9 lead following the first 10 minutes, Coahoma extended the margin to as many as 19 points (37-18) late in the half before taking a commanding 41-26 halftime advantage.

The Lions came out of the break with renewed vigor and proceeded to methodically cut into the sizeable deficit.  As the tandem of sophomore Quantesha Patterson and freshman Tyeisha Juhan began to heat up, EMCC outscored Coahoma, 21-9, during the third quarter.  Anissia May's 3-pointer at the end of the period trimmed the margin to just three points (50-47) heading into the fourth quarter.

Following a couple of ties early in the final period, the Lions grabbed their first lead of the contest (59-58) at the 5:27 mark on Patterson's three-point play.  After Coahoma tied it back up at 61-61 on a basket by Melvinisha Jenkins with 1:10 left, Patterson then came up big defensively by picking off an entry pass and going the length of the court for the go-ahead bucket with 25.5 ticks remaining.  Kaisah Lucky connected on 3-of-4 free throws over the game's final 10 seconds to seal the come-from-behind victory.

Patterson topped all scorers with 23 points, including 14 second-half points on 5-of-6 shooting, in addition to her eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks.  Juhan registered her fourth double-double of the season with 19 rebounds (13 after halftime) and 11 rebounds, while May chipped in with 15 points for Coach Sharon Thompson's 11-6, 6-2 EMCC Lions.

Limited to 21-percent shooting in the second half on 8-of-39 field goals, the Lady Tigers fell to 1-17 overall and remained winless in eight division outings.  The visitors were led by Columbus product Kayla Rogers' 17 points.

In the men's nightcap, an early 9-0 run by the home-standing Lions broke a 9-9 tie and established a lead they would maintain the rest of the contest.  A three-point basket by Job Vernor at the halftime buzzer gave EMCC a 45-34 advantage at the break.  Anterio McKines and Ill'yan Scott tallied 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the opening half on combined 9-of-10 shooting from the field.

Scoring the first seven points coming out of intermission, the Lions' dominance continued throughout the second stanza.  The margin reached 21 points (59-38) on a coast-to-coast basket by McKines with 12 minutes remaining.  As EMCC emptied its bench, the cushion ballooned to as many as 33 points late in the contest. 

With 13 players getting into the scoring column on the night, EMCC shot 51 percent from the field as a team on 31-of-61 field goals.  David McFarland again paced the Lions with 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists.  McKines followed with 13 points, while Scott added 12 points, eight boards and four blocks for Coach Billy Begley's 7-10, 3-5 EMCC Lions.

Falling to 2-17 overall and 1-7 within the division, the Coahoma Tigers were led by Malik Bailey's 18 points.

The East Mississippi basketball teams continue their week-long home stand by welcoming the Tigers of Northeast Mississippi to the Scooba campus for a Thursday twin bill.  A 5:30 p.m. women's game will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. men's contest at EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.