SCOOBA – The Lions of East Mississippi Community College successfully tipped off the new calendar year by sweeping the visiting Meridian Community College Eagles during Thursday night MACJC hoops action. The EMCC women began the evening by posting a low-scoring 54-43 victory, while the Lions followed with a solid 89-68 triumph in the nightcap to complete the sweep at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.
In the women's contest, reigning All-Region 23 guard Tyeisha Juhan scored 10 straight points for the home team during a second-half stretch that gave the Lady Lions a little breathing room in the tightly contested battle. Juhan's scoring streak helped ignite a 12-4 spurt at the start of the fourth quarter that put EMCC in front, 50-37, with four minutes left in the contest. Scoring 17 of her game-high 21 points in the second half, Juhan added eight rebounds and five steals to the winning effort.
Improving to 4-5 on the year by snapping Meridian's eight-game winning streak, the EMCC women also received 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting along with eight rebounds from Columbus' Kayla Rogers.
As a team, the Lady Lions limited Meridian to just 28-percent (16-of-57) shooting from the field while also claiming a 43-27 rebounding advantage over the Lady Eagles.
The MCC Lady Eagles, now 8-2, were led by Shannon Tate and Mallory Thompson with 16 and 12 points, respectively.
In the men's nightcap, the Lions led from the opening tip to the final buzzer. After EMCC held a 46-31 halftime advantage, the visitors managed to cut the deficit to nine points (49-40) three minutes into the second stanza. The Lions responded with five straight points from New Hope High School product Terryonte Thomas to regain control of the game. Midway through the half, the Lions then ran off a dozen unanswered points to stretch the lead to 24 points (75-51) with seven minutes still remaining.
Now 7-4 on the season, the EMCC men were paced by Thomas' 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. Also in double digits for the winners were Starkville's Darrious Agnew and Ripley's Dewayne Cox with 16 and 11 points, respectively.
As a team, EMCC shot 53 percent (32-of-60) from the field for the game. The Lions also had 11 players score in the contest while improving their series record against Meridian to 18-2 dating back to the 2007-08 season.
Falling to 3-7 overall for the year, the Eagles were led by Kylan Hamilton's game-high 20 points. Elton Neal added 10 points for the visitors.
The East Mississippi basketball teams return to the hardwood this coming Tuesday to take on the East Central Warriors in Decatur. Doubleheader hoops action is slated to tip off at 5:30 p.m. at ECCC's Brackeen-Wood Gym.