MOORHEAD – The visiting East Mississippi Community College basketball teams were swept by Mississippi Delta during Monday's MACJC North Division road action, falling 67-51 in the women's game and then dropping a heartbreaking 76-74 decision in the men's contest held at J.T. Hall Coliseum.
Despite hitting a season-high dozen 3-pointers in the men's nightcap, head coach Mark White's EMCC Lions couldn't come up with the clutch trey in the waning seconds to fall in regular-season division play for only the sixth time in the last four-plus seasons. The four-time reigning MACJC North Division champions are now 43-6 within the division dating back to the 2009-10 campaign.
Following a 32-32 deadlock at intermission, consecutive 3-pointers by EMCC guards Nick Giles, Mack Foster and Jacolby Mobley gave the Lions a 43-36 lead four minutes into the second stanza. Subsequently, a 10-0 Delta run was countered with an 8-0 spurt by the visitors to put the Lions on top 51-46 midway through the closing period.
A few minutes later, Avery Woodson drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to extend East Mississippi's lead to 60-51. The Lions continued to maintain that nine-point advantage later in the half until the Trojans outscored EMCC by a 17-3 margin during a six-minute span that took the game into an eventful final minute of play with MDCC owning a 74-69 lead.
After the teams traded 1-of-2 free-throw efforts, Mobley's fade-away 3-pointer with 29.9 ticks remaining cut the deficit to 75-73. Another 1-of-2 trip to the line by Delta kept it a one-possession contest. Woodson's initial game-tying trey attempt went in and out before Devonta Pollard grabbed the offensive rebound. Hitting all seven field-goal attempts for the game but struggling with 4-of-11 shooting from the charity stripe, the former Kemper County High School All-American hit the first of two free throws with 8.2 seconds left. The Lions were given one final reprieve on the miss as Delta's James Evans fell out of bounds in attempting to grab the errant free throw. However, Woodson's second attempt at being the game's hero wasn't to be as his second potential game-tying 3-pointer didn't fall at the buzzer.
Falling to 8-3 overall on the year and dropping their first division decision of the season, the EMCC Lions received 18 points apiece from Pollard and Mobley. Giles and Davon "Chuck" Ester followed with 12 points each, while Woodson, with nine points, was held to single digits in the scoring column for the first time this season.
Improving to 7-6 overall and 1-1 in the division, Mississippi Delta also placed four scorers in double figures. Marquarius Boddie and Kel'Drek Young led the way for the Trojans with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
In the women's contest, the EMCC Lady Lions erased a nine-point, first-half deficit by scoring 14 unanswered points late in the opening stanza to take a 24-21 halftime advantage. The visitors then scored the first two baskets of the second half to move ahead by seven points.
With turnovers playing a major role in losing the lead later in the half, East Mississippi only trailed by a bucket (35-33) following a three-point play by freshman guard Dana Gettis with just under 13 minutes remaining. The Lady Lions then missed nine straight shots, including six errant three-point attempts, over a five-minute span to fall behind 47-33.
The visitors never recovered from the offensive dry spell, as Delta's cushion increased to 20 points (60-40) en route to posting the 16-point home triumph over the Lady Lions.
With their records evening up at 6-6 overall and 1-1 in division play, head coach Sharon Thompson's EMCC Lady Lions were led by Gettis' 17 points and nine rebounds. Reserve guard Lashyra Butler tallied nine of her 11 points in the second half.
Improving to 7-5 overall and 2-0 within the division, the Delta women were led by Ashanti Spencer's game-high 28 points. Niya Head added 16 points for the winners.
The East Mississippi basketball teams return to campus to play host to the Tigers of Northeast Mississippi Community College during a Thursday twinbill at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. A 5:30 p.m. women's game will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. men's contest in Scooba.