SCOOBA – The sophomore backcourt tandem of Tyeisha Juhan and Kaisah Lucky combined for 52 points to lead the East Mississippi Community College women to an 84-68 home win over Northeast Mississippi Community College during Saturday afternoon MACJC North Division basketball action played at EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. The visiting Tigers then claimed a 71-61 victory in the men's nightcap to earn the doubleheader split.
In the men's nightcap, the visiting Tigers jumped out to an early 12-5 lead on the heels of back-to-back 3-pointers by Conner McKay. That lead increased to nine points (17-8) a few minutes later on Job Vernor's triple midway through the half. Managing one tie (19-19) along the way, the Lions outscored Northeast, 17-9, the rest of the half to make it a one-point contest (26-25) in favor of the Tigers heading into halftime.
Following two more ties and four lead changes during the opening 10 minutes of the second stanza, Northeast's Denzel McDuffey scored 13 points during a 16-6 Tigers run that turned a three-point game into a 13-point lead (61-48) by the visitors with 2:10 remaining in the contest. The Lions managed to cut the deficit to eight points (69-61) on a 3-pointer by Robert Davis Jr. during the game's final seconds.
Dropping to 8-6 overall and 1-2 in division play, head coach Billy Begley's EMCC Lions were paced by guards Cam Horton and Dewayne Cox with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Starkville's Markedric Bell followed with eight points and a team-best 11 rebounds.
For the winners, McDuffey finished with a game-high 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor. New Hope High School product JaQuante Bell and McKay followed with 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the Northeast men.
In women's action, EMCC grabbed a 43-35 halftime lead with Juhan (17 points) and Lucky (13) tallying 30 points between them through the opening 20 minutes of action. The Lady Lions doubled their four-point lead late in the half by outscoring Northeast, 8-4, over the final two minutes heading into intermission.
EMCC increased its lead to 14 points (53-39) early in the second stanza before the Lady Tigers went on an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to eight points on a 3-pointer by Adallice Young at the 2:21 mark of the third quarter. Juhan, the reigning NJCAA Division I and MACJC Women's Basketball Player of the Week, answered with a trey of her own to help stake the home team to a 10-point advantage (63-53) heading into the final period.
With Juhan and Columbus' Kayla Rogers scoring the first two baskets of the fourth quarter, EMCC maintained its double-digit lead throughout the final 10 minutes of the game en route to handing the Northeast women their first division setback in four tries on the year.
Improving to 7-5 overall and 2-1 in division play, head coach Sharon Thompson's EMCC squad shot 52 percent (33-64 FGs) from the field for the game, including 58 percent (18-31 FGs) during the second half. Juhan, from Jonesboro, Ga., finished with a game-high 31 points on 13-of-22 shooting while adding nine rebounds, five assists and two steals. Lucky, out of Brooklyn, N.Y., followed with a career-high 21 points on 7-of-11 accuracy from the field and a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe along with adding nine assists, seven rebounds and three steals for the winners.
Falling to 10-5 overall and 3-1 within the division, the Northeast Lady Tigers were led by Aundrea Adams' 19 points, while Cherelle Jones contributed a double-double with 15 points and 14 boards.
The East Mississippi basketball teams hit the road next week with a Monday doubleheader at Mississippi Delta and a Thursday twin bill at Itawamba.