SCOOBA – The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams return from the semester break to tip off a three-game home stand with Monday's hoops doubleheader against Meridian Community College 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 Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.
With respective overall records of 9-2 and 8-3 on the year, the EMCC Lady Lions and Lions will then resume MACJC North Division action by playing host to Holmes on Thursday (Jan. 9) and Coahoma the following Monday (Jan. 13).
After opening the current campaign with a 65-54 women's win and 73-70 men's victory over Meridian on the road back on Nov. 4, the EMCC basketball teams will be looking to complete their first season sweep over the Eagles since the 2016-17 season. The Lions currently own a nine-game series winning streak over MCC dating back to Coach Billy Begley's first season (2015-16) as head men's coach at East Mississippi.
Coach Sharon Thompson's EMCC Lady Lions (9-2, 1-0) begin 2020 on a four-game win streak following a pair of victories over Snead State (72-53 & 62-59) as well as triumphs over East Central (67-43) and division foe Mississippi Delta (85-55) during the month of December.
Featuring four double-digit scorers on the season, the Lady Lions' leading scorer and rebounder thus far has been freshman Ja'Mia Hollings. Along with averaging 13.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game with five double-doubles, the West Point product is shooting 57.9 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from the line. Hollings also leads EMCC with 32 steals and 11 blocked shots through the first 11 games.
Reigning all-conference guard Tye Metcalf (Southaven) is averaging 12.0 points and a team-best 3.8 assists per outing on the year. Jackson State transfer guard Taylor Lattimore (Memphis, TN) follows with an average of 11.2 points coming off the bench while leading the team with 20 made 3-pointers. Fellow transfer guard Topazia Hawkins, out of Spiro, Okla., is contributing 11.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game for the Lady Lions.
The reigning conference champion EMCC Lions (8-3, 1-0) are riding a three-game winning streak heading into 2020 following December victories over Royal Ambassadors Prep (105-40), East Central (90-77) and Mississippi Delta (63-57) in their division opener back on Dec. 9 in Moorhead.
Freshman forward Jakorie Smith, a former Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen selection out of three-time reigning Class 4A state champion Raymond High School, is the Lions' top scorer and rebounder on the season at 17.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. The Week 3 MACJC Men's Basketball Player of the Week has recorded five double-doubles through the first 11 games along with shooting 50.7 percent overall from the field and 73.9 percent from the charity stripe.
As the team's second-leading scorer (14.4 ppg) on the year, sophomore backcourt standout Donte Powers (Starkville) tops the Lions with 20 made 3-pointers along with averaging a team-best 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals per contest. Memphis product Arecko Gipson Jr. follows with 12.9 points and 4.7 rebounds, while freshman point guard Danny Washington (Greenville) is contributing 8.5 points, 2.8 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals an outing.