SCOOBA – The East Mississippi Community College men's basketball team returned from the Thanksgiving holiday break to post a commanding 89-55 home victory over Faith Prep Academy during a Monday night hoops doubleheader at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. The EMCC women didn't fare as well in dropping an 82-73 decision to Snead State Community College during the night's opening game.
Having played three nationally ranked opponents during their previous four games, the EMCC men jumped on the visiting Faith Prep Warriors from West Memphis, Arkansas early by racing to a 22-4 advantage eight minutes into the contest. Spirited inside play by sophomore forward Markedric Bell (Starkville) and pinpoint perimeter shooting from sophomore guard Terryonte Thomas (New Hope HS) helped increase the lead to 30-9.
Following a 9-1 Faith Prep run, the Lions outscored the visitors, 17-5, during the remainder of the half to take a 48-23 halftime lead. Sophomore guard Dewayne Cox (Ripley) keyed EMCC's half-closing spurt with 10 points over the final four minutes of the opening stanza.
The Lions didn't let up following the break in extending the margin to 30 points (60-30) six minutes into the second half on a left-handed lay-in by freshman Donte Powers (Starkville) after a steal. The 89-55 outcome marked EMCC's third victory of the young season by 34 points or more.
Evening their record to 4-4 on the year, Coach Billy Begley's Lions were led by Cox's 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field in addition to recording four steals. Thomas followed with 15 points on 6-of-10 accuracy from the field, including 3-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc. Bell notched a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds to go along with three blocks. Sophomore Noel Jones (Pascagoula) added 10 points off the EMCC bench.
Faith Prep Academy received a game-high 23 points from Will Edwards.
The women's game was a rematch of two weeks ago (Nov. 12) when the Lady Lions went on the road to grab a 78-76 victory from Snead State in Boaz, Alabama. The opening quarter of the rematch featured six lead changes and a pair of ties before the visitors took a slim 19-17 lead after the opening 10 minutes of play.
The Lady Parsons scored the first seven points of the second quarter to make their first significant run of the contest. EMCC responded to the nine-point deficit by outscoring Snead State, 16-12, the rest of the period to make it a five-point contest (38-33) at the intermission.
Following the break, the visitors re-established control of the game with a 9-2 run midway through the third quarter to open up a double-digit lead (51-41) on a three-point play by Mia Creech with four minutes left in the period. A late 6-0 spurt by EMCC trimmed the lead to six points, but a 3-pointer by Catlin Carter slowed the home team's momentum and gave Snead a 62-53 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Parsons lengthened their lead to 14 points (75-61) on a three-point play by Jasmine Branford with 5:23 remaining in the game. The eventual nine-point road win improved Snead State's record to 6-3 on the season.
Creech led the way for the visitors with 20 points followed by Tamia Knight and Carter with 19 and 17 points, respectively, in the winning effort.
Coach Sharon Thompson's 3-4 EMCC Lady Lions featured five players scoring in double figures. Freshman post player Maddie Riley (Velma Jackson HS) registered her fourth double-double of the year with a season-high 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field to go along with 16 rebounds. Freshman guard Tye Metcalf (Southaven) just missed recording a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds, while freshman forward Aamiya Rush (West Point) added 14 points off the bench on 5-of-6 shooting.
The East Mississippi basketball teams will tip off the MACJC North Division regular-season slate by playing host to the Trojans of Mississippi Delta Community College on Monday, Dec. 3. A 5:30 p.m. women's game will be followed by a 7:30 men's nightcap at Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus.