PRCC hosting Loyola JV

Published 2:04 am Sunday, November 28, 2010

The No. 11-ranked Pearl River Community College Wildcats will put their perfect 6-0 record on the line Sunday when they play host to the Loyola University (La.) junior varsity squad at St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis.

The Wildcats, the reigning MACJC state champions, pulled off a 67-62 victory over the Wolfpack Nov. 10 in New Orleans despite hitting a dismal 38.6 percent from the field.

PRCC head coach Richard Mathis says his team has a target on its back.

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“Being nationally ranked gets everybody up for you,” Mathis said. “It’s like you’ve got a big target on your back. And they (Loyola) gave us all we could handle a few weeks back. We were lucky to win that one.”

Pearl River entered the season at No. 25 in the NJCAA preseason Division I poll before copping at No. 12 ranking in the first regular-season balloting released Nov. 16 and moving up one spot to No. 11 in the most-recent poll.

East Mississippi, the MACJC runner-up a year ago, has been ranked No. 16 in both regular season polls. The 5-1 Lions picked up their first loss of the year Nov. 22 when host Shelton State (Ala.) took a 75-67 victory in the Southland International Classic Tournament played in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

PRCC defeated EMCC 61-58 for the MACJC men’s state championship last February in Scooba.

Mathis, who is amidst his 20th season with the Wildcats, has guided Pearl  River to five MACJC state titles — 1994-95, 1997-98, 2003-04, 2004-05, and last year. In addition, he has won two other state championships — a men’s title at Northeast Mississippi in Booneville and a women’s title at his alma mater East  Mississippi in Scooba.

The Wildcats are coming off a win over Holmes on the road 10 days ago.