CLARKSDALE – The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams claimed much-needed road victories over Coahoma Community College during Monday's MACJC North Division hoops action played at the Pinnacle. The Lady Lions snapped a five-game losing skid with a 51-50 victory, while the EMCC men bounced back from last week's pair of tough one-point setbacks with a 52-50 nightcap win over the Tigers.
The women's contest started slowly with Coahoma inching out to a 9-3 lead following a low-scoring opening quarter. The home-standing Lady Tigers extended their lead to 17-6 midway through the second quarter before EMCC freshman guard Tye Metcalf scored nine straight points to pull the visitors to within a basket (19-17) by the halftime break.
Metcalf's 3-pointer to open the second half gave the Lady Lions their first lead of the contest. After Coahoma moved back ahead by five points later in the half, EMCC made another push to deadlock the score at 32-all heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Tigers continued to hold the upper hand for the majority of the final period. After Coahoma pushed its lead back up to six points (41-35) four minutes into the quarter, the Lady Lions answered with a Tatyana Norment basket and an Aamiya Rush 3-pointer to make it a one-point contest. Later in the quarter, Coahoma again went back up by six points (48-42). However, Arianna Thigpen's bucket with 3:22 remaining would prove to be the home team's final made field goal of the contest.
After EMCC outscored Coahoma, 5-1, from the charity stripe during a critical stretch where the visitors collected key offensive rebounds, the Lady Lions knotted the score at 49-49 on Norment's baseline bucket with 33 ticks left on the game clock. Walneika Holmes then hit 1-of-2 free throws to give the Lady Tigers a one-point edge before Emily Evans' drive to the basket with 16 seconds left put the visitors back on top for the first time since the opening points of the second half.
During the game's final possession, Coahoma called a timeout with six seconds remaining just prior to Holmes' shot going through the net. With the basket nullified due to the called timeout, the Lady Tigers then had a pair of unsuccessful attempts at the basket before the final buzzer sounded.
Improving to 5-9 overall and 2-1 in MACJC North Division action, Coach Sharon Thompson's EMCC Lady Lions were led by Metcalf's game-high 19 points off the bench. Norment and Evans followed with eight points apiece – all coming after halftime.
Falling to 4-8 overall and 0-3 in division play, the Coahoma women were paced by Holmes' 17 points.
The men's contest also proved to be nip and tuck throughout the entire 40 minutes. With the exception of a few ties, the Lions held a slim lead for most of the opening half before claiming a 25-22 halftime edge. Sophomores Markedric Bell and Dewayne Cox combined for 16 of EMCC's 25 first-half points with nine and seven points, respectively.
The visitors maintained their slight advantage throughout the opening portion of the second stanza. With EMCC leading by four points midway through the half, the Tigers went on a 6-0 run to grab their first lead of the game (43-41) with eight minutes remaining. After Coahoma moved ahead by three points (47-44) on Terry Williams' basket, EMCC's Terryonte Thomas picked an opportune time for his only made field goal of the game by drilling a game-tying 3-pointer with five minutes left in the contest.
Following a three-minute scoreless stretch, EMCC freshman guard Donte Powers then converted his lone field goal attempt of the game to put the Lions back on top temporarily. Coahoma responded with Cornelius Holly's three-point bucket to take a brief 50-49 lead with 47 seconds remaining on the game clock. On the ensuing possession, EMCC's Cox promptly drove to the rim and capitalized on the three-point play to make it a 52-50 contest with just 26 ticks left.
As was the case in the earlier women's contest, Coahoma had a chance to either tie the game or send it into overtime. However, the home-standing Tigers also came up empty during the waning seconds before the final horn blew.
Coach Billy Begley's EMCC Lions improved to 8-6 overall and 2-1 in the MACJC North behind Cox and Bell with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Led by Williams' game-high 20 points, the Coahoma Tigers fell to 4-8 overall and 1-2 within the division.
The East Mississippi basketball teams return home to play host to the Rangers of Northwest Mississippi in a Thursday hoops twin-bill on the Scooba campus. A 5:30 p.m. women's game will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. men's contest at EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.