SCOOBA -- The East Mississippi Community College women's basketball team remained unbeaten at home with Monday's 72-53 victory over Snead State Community College at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum. The Lions also stayed undefeated at home on the year with a commanding 105-40 win over Royal Ambassadors Prep in the men's nightcap.
In women's action, the Lady Lions scored the last six points of the opening quarter to take a 16-8 lead and then held a pair of 18-point advantages during the second quarter before holding a 34-22 halftime lead.
The margin continued to increase following intermission with EMCC outscoring Snead State, 23-11, during the third quarter to head to the final period with a comfortable 24-point (57-33) cushion. The lead ballooned to 30 points (65-35) three minutes into the fourth quarter before the visitors scored 15 unanswered points during a three-minute stretch late in the half to cut the deficit to 67-53 with 2:14 remaining in the game.
Coach Sharon Thompson's Lady Lions finally broke their four-minute scoring drought with a Tye Metcalf 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper by Topazia Hawkins within the final minute of play to secure the 19-point home triumph.
Metcalf, Hawkins and Ja'Mia Hollings all tied for team scoring honors with 15 points apiece for the 6-2 Lady Lions. Jackson State transfer Taylor Lattimore added 10 points for the winners, while Maddie Riley just missed recording a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds.
Falling to 7-3 on the year, the Lady Parsons of Snead State were led by Connie Clarke's game-high 21 points. Tamia Knight followed with a dozen points for the visitors.
In the men's nightcap, the home-standing Lions were primed and ready for some post-Thanksgiving action after battling through a recent challenging stretch of five games in eight days, including three losses to nationally ranked foes (Northwest Florida State, Gulf Coast State & Shelton State), just prior to the week-long holiday break.
Coming off his career-high, 25-point outing a week ago at Shelton State, Donte Powers' game-opening 3-pointer tipped off the scoring display for Coach Billy Begley's Lions. The double-digit lead reached 20 points (26-6) by the 12:23 mark on a Quamontae Monfort basket following a steal. The margin continued to expand throughout the opening 20 minutes of play before Romeo Sanders' 3-pointer late in the half gave EMCC a substantial 64-16 halftime advantage.
The second half featured much of the same EMCC dominance with all 12 available players seeing game action for the 6-3 Lions during the 65-point blowout victory. Led by Arecko Gipson Jr.'s game-high 18 points, EMCC had six players score in double figures and two others tally nine points each. Freshman forward Jakorie Smith, last week's MACJC Player of the Week, opened the new week with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Sanders finished with 11 points. Fellow freshman Kon Ajang registered his first collegiate double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Powers and Monfort also tallied 10 points each for the winners.
The Jackson-based Lions of Royal Ambassadors Prep were led by Lecray Collier and Alexander Madiebo with nine and eight points, respectively.
The EMCC basketball teams return to MACJC conference action by taking on the Warriors of East Central Community College during a Thursday night hoops doubleheader in Decatur. A 5:30 p.m. women's contest will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. men's game at Brackeen-Wood Gymnasium on the ECCC campus. EMCC swept East Central last month (Nov. 14) in Scooba with a 73-57 women's win and an 88-85 men's victory.