SCOOBA – The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams claimed their second MACJC North Division sweep of the week by earning a 69-55 women's victory followed by a 102-89 men's nightcap win over visiting Northwest Mississippi Community College during Thursday night hoops action played at EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.
On the heels of Monday's road sweep over Coahoma (51-50 in women & 52-50 in men), Thursday's home sweep over Northwest Mississippi improved the EMCC men's and women's division marks to 3-1 on the season.
In EMCC-NWCC women's action, the Lady Rangers used an 8-0 start to take a slim 14-12 lead after the first quarter. Midway through the second quarter, the Lady Lions scored eight unanswered points to take the lead for good in the contest. They outscored Northwest, 12-5, during the final five minutes of the opening half to grab a 32-26 halftime advantage.
The visitors would not get any closer than that six-point margin the rest of the way, as the EMCC women maintained control of the contest over the final 20 minutes. An 11-point lead (49-38) at the end of the third quarter increased to as many as 16 points on a couple of occasions late in the game before the Lady Lions nailed down the solid 14-point victory.
Coach Sharon Thompson's EMCC Lady Lions improved to 6-9 overall with their second division win of the week. While coming off the bench, freshmen Tye Metcalf and Maddie Riley led the way with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Fellow freshman Tatyana Norment added 10 points for the winners.
Dropping to 7-7 overall and 2-2 within the division, the Lady Rangers were led by Kayla Bradley and Ericka Richardson with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The high-scoring men's nightcap featured 11 lead changes and a half-dozen ties during a 99-point opening half of play between the two teams. With Jitaurious Gordon scoring 16 first-half points with four 3-pointers, the Rangers opened up a 22-16 lead before EMCC used a 7-0 run to briefly reclaim the lead. Later following the game's sixth deadlock at 41-all, the visitors outscored the Lions, 11-6, over the final two minutes of the half to take a 52-47 halftime lead.
The second stanza featured seven more lead changes early in the half before Dewayne Cox's 3-pointer capped a 7-0 EMCC run that gave the Lions a 70-64 lead with 12 minutes remaining in the game. Alec Rayburn's trey then completed a 9-4 Northwest spurt that cut the deficit to a single point (74-73) midway through the half.
A subsequent game-changing, three-minute stretch that started with a Cox put-back basket and ended with a steal and layup by Robert Davis Jr. resulted in 10 unanswered EMCC points. After opening up the 11-point lead (84-73) with 7:11 left in the contest, the Lions maintained control of the game the rest of the way. Davis scored 12 of his 20 second-half points over the game's final seven minutes en route to scoring a career-high 33 points in the 13-point victory.
For the game, Davis shot 8-of-12 overall from the field, including 4-of-6 from beyond the three-point arc, and hit 13 consecutive free throws during a 13-of-15 effort from the charity stripe. The Clinton native also totaled five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Coach Billy Begley's 9-6 EMCC Lions also received 21 points from Cox on 7-of-11 shooting, while Terryonte Thomas and Darrious Agnew added 19 and 15 points, respectively, for the winners.
Falling to 8-5 overall and 2-2 in the division, the Northwest Rangers were led by Gordon's 23 points. Rayburn followed with 15 points with Nick Edwards and Mike Robinson contributing a dozen points apiece.
The East Mississippi basketball teams will have a week between games before resuming divisional action on Thursday (Jan. 24) against the Itawamba Indians in Fulton. A 5:30 p.m. women's game will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. men's contest at ICC's Davis Event Center. The EMCC-ICC hoops doubleheader is slated to be live-streamed at www.EMCCAthletics.com/live with Austin Buchanan describing the play-by-play action.