BOONEVILLE – East Mississippi Community College's basketball teams had to play catch-up throughout Thursday's MACJC North Division road doubleheader against Northeast Mississippi before falling, 65-51, in women's action and then dropping a 66-57 decision in the men's nightcap played at Bonner Arnold Coliseum.
The Northeast men built an early double-digit margin (14-4) and then maintained at least a seven-point lead throughout the remainder of the opening half. After the Tigers held a 10-point (35-25) halftime advantage, EMCC scored the first eight points of the second stanza to pull to within a basket (35-33) four minutes into the half.
Minutes later, the Lions made a 6-0 run to knot the score at 41-all midway through the half. Northeast's Darius Williams then stepped up to hit a pair of 3-pointers to help put the home team back up by six points (48-42) with 8:21 remaining. Performing clutch off the bench, Williams then contributed another trey, a three-point play and a pair of free throws during a 10-0 NEMCC run that put the Tigers ahead by 11 points (58-47) with 3:40 left in the contest. The visitors didn't get any closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Dropping to 10-10 overall and 3-6 in the division, head coach Billy Begley's Lions featured but one double-digit scorer on the night in Cam Horton with 17 points.
Improving to 15-5 overall and 6-3 within the division, the Northeast Tigers were paced by Williams' 17 points. Conner McKay added 10 points in the winning effort.
The home-standing Lady Tigers jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead and continued to stretch the margin from there. After Northeast built an early 14-point lead, EMCC's Tyeisha Juhan hit a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to cut the deficit to 20-9. The cushion ballooned to 25 points (38-13) late in the second quarter before the Lady Lions scored the last six points of the half to somewhat cut into NEMCC's halftime advantage.
The second half pretty much followed suit as the Lady Tigers built the lead back up and then answered the few times the visitors made any type of run. EMCC did make a mini-run late in the third quarter to narrow the gap to 14 points on a couple of occasions. Aundrea Adams responded by hitting consecutive baskets at the end of the quarter to put Northeast on top, 53-35, heading into the final period. With NEMCC staying comfortably ahead for the remainder of the contest, the Lady Lions managed to score the game's last seven points to trim the final margin to 14 points.
Falling to 10-8 overall and 5-4 within the division, head coach Sharon Thompson's Lady Lions were led by Kaisah Lucky and Juhan with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Avenging their lone division loss of the season with last month's 84-68 setback at EMCC, the 15-5, 8-1 Northeast women were powered by Adams' double-double effort of 21 points and 15 rebounds. Tyra Tucker and Dayzsha Rogan added a dozen points apiece for the winners.
Down to the final two weeks of the regular season, the East Mississippi basketball teams will resume play on Thursday (Feb. 15) by playing host to the Trojans of Mississippi Delta Community College. Doubleheader hardwood action is slated to tip off at 5:30 p.m. at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus.