Freshman trio pace Lady Lions to 65-50 road victory over Mississippi Delta

Freshman trio pace Lady Lions to 65-50 road victory over Mississippi Delta

MOORHEAD – The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams tipped off the second half of the MACJC conference hoops slate in winning fashion by sweeping Mississippi Delta during Thursday's action at J.T. Hall Coliseum.  The EMCC women used a 9-0 run coming out of halftime to help propel them to a 65-50 win, while the Lions had four double-digit scorers in their 72-67 victory over the Trojans in the men's nightcap.

The opening quarter of the women's game featured six ties before the Lady Trojans took a slim 17-14 lead following the first 10 minutes of action.  EMCC responded to the early deficit by scoring the first eight points of the second quarter to take a 22-17 lead by the 6:40 mark.  Consecutive 3-pointers by Delta's Shammia Love late in the half cut EMCC's lead to 30-29 by the halftime break.

Keyed by made treys from Tye Metcalf and Aamiya Rush, the Lady Lions scored nine unanswered points coming out of intermission to open up a double-digit advantage (39-29).  While limiting Delta to just nine third-quarter points, the visitors extended an eight-point lead to 14 points (52-38) by scoring the first six points of the final period.  The margin stayed at double digits for the entire fourth quarter, as the EMCC women coasted to their fourth consecutive season series sweep over the Lady Trojans.  EMCC claimed a 75-64 home win over Delta back in December.

Coach Sharon Thompson's EMCC Lady Lions improved to 7-11 overall and 4-3 in MACJC North Division play with the 15-point triumph.  Metcalf, a freshman guard out of Southaven, notched her fourth 20-point outing of the season with a team-high 22 points (16 after halftime) while adding six assists, four steals and four rebounds.  Rush (12 pts & 10 rebs) along with fellow freshman forward Maddie Riley (16/13) were forces inside for the visitors by registering their third and sixth double-doubles of the season, respectively.

The men's nightcap began with a 9-0 Delta run before EMCC could get on the scoreboard with a Donte Powers free throw at the 15:24 mark.  With the exception of a pair of ties, the Lions trailed the entire opening 20 minutes until Markedric Bell's offensive rebound basket at the halftime buzzer capped a 6-0 EMCC run over the final minutes of the half to put the visitors on top 30-29 heading into the break.

The Trojans began the second stanza with a 7-1 spurt to reclaim the advantage.  Featuring 3-pointers from Robert Davis Jr. and Dewayne Cox, the Lions promptly answered with an 8-2 run to move back in front (39-38) with 15:30 remaining in the game.

For the next nine minutes on the game clock, the two teams battled through six deadlocks and four more lead changes.  After hitting a pair of free throws to knot the score at 58-all, Darrious Agnew then converted a three-point play on an offensive rebound at the 6:10 mark to put EMCC back on top for good.     

Acrobatic shots in the lane from Davis and Bell upped the Lions' lead to 67-62 heading into the final minutes of the contest.  After the teams traded free throws, Delta couldn't get any closer down the stretch.  Free throws by Agnew, who was 10-of-15 from the line for the game, and Cox offset a late 3-pointer by Avion Graham.

Marking their first win in Moorhead since the 2014-15 season, Coach Billy Begley's EMCC Lions improved to 11-7 overall and 5-2 in MACJC North Division play.  With four EMCC players scoring in double figures, Davis tallied 12 of his team-high 17 points during the second half.  Agnew, Bell and Cox all followed with 14 points apiece for the winners.  Bell added 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals to register his fourth career double-double.

The East Mississippi basketball teams will have a week-long home stand beginning with Monday's doubleheader against Holmes and Thursday's twin bill versus Coahoma.  Both upcoming home dates will begin with 5:30 p.m. women's games followed by 7:30 p.m. men's contests at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus.