SCOOBA – The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams successfully tipped off the MACJC North Division slate by sweeping visiting Mississippi Delta Community College Monday evening at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. The EMCC women claimed a solid 75-64 win in the opener, while the home-standing Lions cruised to a 94-77 victory over the Trojans in the men's nightcap.
Freshman guard Tye Metcalf scored the first eight points of the women's contest with a game-opening basket followed by a 3-pointer and a three-point play to stake EMCC to an early 8-0 lead. The Lady Lions maintained the lead throughout the first quarter and owned a slim 17-16 edge after the opening 10 minutes of play.
Following six lead changes to begin the second quarter, EMCC scored six unanswered points to reclaim the advantage for good. Metcalf's 11 first-half points helped give the Lady Lions a narrow 33-31 halftime lead.
EMCC moved in front by nine points (44-35) on Emily Evans' 3-pointer, but the Delta women responded by scoring seven unanswered points to trim the deficit to a basket (44-42) with four minutes left in the third quarter. A 3-pointer by Briona Green and a Tatyana Norment putback basket bumped up EMCC's lead to 50-44 heading into the final period.
A close contest grew to an 11-point advantage (59-48) following the Lady Lions' 8-0 run early in the quarter. With Norment scoring 14 of her 18 second-half points in the fourth quarter alone without missing a shot, EMCC coasted to its seventh consecutive series win over Mississippi Delta.
As Norment, out of Forrest City, Ark., led the way with a season-high 22 points, including 8-of-8 shooting from the field in the second half, the Lady Lions evened their overall record to 4-4 on the season. Metcalf and Evans followed with 16 and 13 points, respectively, for the winners.
Falling to 2-6 for the year, the Lady Trojans were led by Patrisha Lollis with 10 points.
Coach Sharon Thompson's EMCC Lady Lions will conclude the pre-Christmas portion of their hoops slate by taking on South Georgia Tech and fifth-ranked Chipola College, Dec. 14-15, respectively, in Marianna, Fla.
In the men's division opener, the teams battled through three early ties before EMCC sophomore Robert Davis Jr. scored eight straight points on a pair of 3-pointers and a two-point basket to give the Lions a 19-12 lead eight minutes into the game. Later in the half, fellow sophomore Terryonte Thomas tallied 11 of his 17 first-half points during a two-minute stretch to push the advantage to 14 points at 40-26.
Fueled by a trio of late 3-pointers by sophomore Noel Jones coming off the EMCC bench, the Lions made a 13-4 run over the final four minutes of the opening half to lengthen the margin to 53-34 by the halftime break. As a team through the opening 20 minutes, the EMCC men hit 61 percent from the field on 19-of-31 shooting, including 7-of-13 accuracy (54%) from beyond the three-point arc.
The Lions maintained their double-digit cushion throughout the second stanza, as the visiting Trojans couldn't get any closer than 12 points during the final 20 minutes of play. Delta's Quintaures Boatman hit a trey at the 14:29 mark to close the gap to a dozen points, but EMCC's Jones promptly answered with his fourth 3-pointer of the night to help thwart any possible comeback attempt by the visitors.
Thomas, out of New Hope High School, posted his third 20-point outing of the young season by finishing with 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field. Davis followed with a season-high 19 points while not missing on four three-point attempts. Jones and Darrious Agnew added 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the winning effort.
Dropping to 3-6 on the season, the Delta men were paced by Darius Jackson's 23 points. Brandon Kimble and DeAnthony Bowie followed with 18 and 12 points, respectively, for the Trojans.
Coach Billy Begley's 5-4 EMCC Lions are set to wrap up their pre-holiday hoops slate by traveling to Baton Rouge, La., to take on the Bears of Baton Rouge Community College Saturday afternoon (2 p.m.) in a Region 23 contest.