SENATOBIA – Tipping off the second half of MACJC North Division regular-season play, the visiting East Mississippi Community College basketball teams were swept by Northwest Mississippi Community College Thursday evening at Howard Coliseum. The EMCC women fell, 86-81, while the Lions were downed in the men's nightcap, 85-79.
Following a 16-16 tie through the opening quarter of the women's contest, Northwest's ability to connect from three-point range totally changed the game's momentum in favor of the home team. Late in the second quarter, three straight 3-pointers by the Lady Rangers turned a tight one-point contest into a double-digit margin. With nine first-half treys, Northwest owned a 43-30 halftime advantage.
The Lions managed to cut into the deficit during the opening minutes of the second stanza. EMCC scored nine unanswered points, including three consecutive baskets by freshman Tyeisha Juhan, to cut Northwest's lead to just four points (48-44) with six minutes left in the third quarter.
Within the next minute, however, Northwest got back-to-back 3-pointers from Chrissah Shaw and Averyale Joy to push its lead back up to twin digits. EMCC responded once again with five straight points on a three-point play by Quantesha Patterson and a baseline jumper by Juhan to cut the deficit in half (54-49). That's as close as the visitors would get the rest of the way until the final basket of the contest.
After trailing by 10 points (63-53) through three quarters, the Lions pulled within six points (65-59) early in the fourth quarter. Shaw countered with her sixth triple of the contest to again keep EMCC from mounting any type of comeback attempt.
Finishing with 16 made 3-pointers on 34 attempts (47%) for the game and shooting 52 percent overall from the field as a team, the Northwest women improved to 10-6 overall and 4-3 in division play. Shaw led the Lady Rangers with 22 points, while Joy and Janesha Johnson followed with 15 points each for the winners.
Dropping to 10-6 overall and 5-2 within the division, Coach Sharon Thompson's Lions were again paced by the tandem of Patterson and Juhan, who combined for 47 points. Patterson hit 10-of-12 shots from the field for her 22 points, while just missing out on another double-double effort with a team-high nine rebounds. Juhan's 25 points led all scorers, while Anissia May added 18 points for EMCC.
In the men's nightcap, the Lions bounced back from an early 11-2 deficit by outscoring Northwest, 9-2, at the end of the opening half to take a 39-37 halftime lead despite trailing most of the opening 20 minutes of play.
EMCC maintained its lead following the halftime break by extending the margin to five points (50-45) on Mitch Storm's 3-pointer at the 14:05 mark. With the visitors still owning a four-point lead (53-49) later in the half, the Rangers scored six unanswered points to reclaim the lead with 11:44 remaining.
The game remained tightly contested for the middle portion of the second half until Northwest went on a 13-4 run during a game-deciding, three-minute span late in the period. A baseline dunk by Alex Shepard at the 2:00 mark capped the rally and extended the home team's lead to 11 points (80-69). From there, the closest the Lions would get the rest of the way would be the final margin of six points.
Falling to 6-10 overall and 2-5 in division play with their fourth straight setback, Coach Billy Begley's EMCC Lions were led by David McFarland's 19 points. Off the bench for the visitors, Keith Harris and Anterio McKines added 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Improving to 12-5 overall and 5-2 within the division, the Northwest men were paced by a double-double effort off the bench by Therrell Gosier II, who scored a game-high 20 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 10-of-12 from the charity stripe in addition to pulling down 14 rebounds. Dakota Dailey followed with 18 points for the winners.
The East Mississippi basketball teams return to the Scooba campus to begin a week-long home stand Monday against Coahoma before playing host to Northeast Mississippi in a Thursday twin bill. Both upcoming home hoops doubleheaders will begin with 5:30 p.m. women's games followed by 7:30 p.m. men's contests at EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.