EMCC sweeps visiting Northeast Mississippi in division play with pair of 18-point victories

SCOOBA – The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams swept visiting Northeast Mississippi with a pair of 18-point home victories during Thursday's MACJC North Division action.  Following a 64-46 women's triumph for the Lady Lions, the home-standing EMCC Lions then claimed a 71-53 win over the Tigers to complete the sweep at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.

In the opening contest, the EMCC women increased a 31-27 halftime lead to nine points (40-31) five minutes into the second stanza.  Aided by some Lady Lion turnovers, the visitors scored seven unanswered points to cut the deficit to a basket.

However, that's as close as the Lady Tigers would get, as East Mississippi outscored Northeast 24-8 the rest of the way to get back above the .500 mark on the season with the 18-point win.  For the game, EMCC out-shot the visitors 49 percent to 32 percent and held a decisive 41-25 rebounding margin.

Improving to 7-6 overall and 2-1 in division play, head coach Sharon Thompson's EMCC Lady Lions were paced by Takera Mitchell and former Clarkdale standout Charmane Tims with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Led by Antionette Riddle and Aushiana Ivy with 11 points apiece, the Northeast women fell to 5-9 overall on the year and 0-3 within the division.

In the men's nightcap, head coach Mark White's EMCC Lions roared to a 10-0 lead utilizing a full-court press to convert some early Northeast turnovers into easy baskets on the offensive end.  With the help of three Antonio Finley 3-pointers in the final four minutes of the half, the Lions' cushion grew to 21 points (41-20) by the break.

East Mississippi easily maintained its double-digit advantage throughout the second half en route to claiming the eighth consecutive series win for the Lions over Northeast dating back to the 2009-10 season.  Out-shooting the Tigers 53 percent to 33 percent from the field on the night, the EMCC men improved to 9-3 overall and 1-1 in division play.

Davon "Chuck" Ester led the way for the winners with a season-high 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field.  Starkville's Jacolby Mobley followed with 15 points, including 13 following intermission, while Finley, a Meridian product, added a season-best 14 points on 4-of-6 accuracy from beyond the three-point arc.

Dipping to 3-11 overall and 0-3 within the division, the Northeast Tigers received a double-double performance from 6-foot-11, 250-pound post player Al Azulphar with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

The East Mississippi basketball teams stay in division play by hitting the road to take on rival Itawamba Community College in a Tuesday hoops doubleheader (6 & 8 p.m.) at the Davis Event Center on the ICC campus in Fulton.