POPLARVILLE – The Lady Lions of East Mississippi Community College fell for the first time this basketball season in dropping a 61-57 road decision to Pearl River Community College during Monday's tipoff game of the PRCC Wildcat Classic played at Marvin R. White Coliseum.
Despite opening the contest with three early turnovers, EMCC matched a pair of game-opening 3-pointers by PRCC's Mychala Linzy with made treys by Alaysha Jennings and Taylor Lattimore. After three ties in the opening quarter, the second-quarter lead changed hands four times and featured two more deadlocks late in the half before the Lady Wildcats took a 33-31 lead into intermission.
EMCC's Lattimore, a Jackson State transfer, provided some momentum for the visitors coming out of the halftime break with a 3-pointer and another basket following a steal to give the Lady Lions an early lead in the second stanza. Pearl River then reclaimed the advantage with six straight points before EMCC's Tye Metcalf later capped the third quarter with a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 50-46 heading to the fourth quarter.
The Lady Lions capitalized on the momentum change by scoring seven unanswered points to open the final period. Made treys by Topazia Hawkins and Tia Daniels gave the visitors a 53-50 lead with 7:43 remaining in the contest. Pearl River again responded with consecutive buckets by Alanna Smith followed by a Jakia Harper basket that gave the Lady Wildcats a 56-53 lead with four minutes left.
After the two teams traded baskets down the stretch, Ja'Mia Hollings' put-back basket cut PRCC's lead to a single point (58-57) with less than a minute left to play. A costly offensive foul by the visitors was converted into two made free throws by PRCC's Smith to make it a three-point game with only 16.7 ticks remaining on the game clock. The Lady Lions couldn't convert on a drive to the basket and was called for another offensive foul on an inbounds play during the waning seconds to seal their fate.
Coach Sharon Thompson's 4-1 EMCC Lady Lions were led by Lattimore's 18 points coming off the bench. Hollings recorded her third double-double of the young season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Hawkins added 10 points and nine boards off the bench.
The EMCC women will host Coastal Alabama-North on Thursday (Nov. 21) in a return meeting on the Scooba campus. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. at EMCC's Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. The Lady Lions previously breezed to an easy 87-35 road win over Coastal Alabama-North earlier this month (Nov. 9) during the Lady Eagle Classic played in Monroeville, Ala.