EMCC extends win streaks with basketball sweep over Mississippi Delta

Published 8:58 am Wednesday, March 17, 2021

SCOOBA/MOORHEAD — The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams extended their current winning streaks by sweeping Mississippi Delta during Monday’s MACCC North Division hoops action.  The Lions put 12 players in the scoring column to earn their fourth straight win with a commanding 85-48 home triumph over a short-handed Delta men’s squad, while the Lady Lions needed an overtime session to claim their third consecutive victory with a 60-58 road win over the Lady Trojans.

In the men’s contest played at EMCC’s Keyes T. Currie Coliseum, the Lions jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead with a trio of made three-pointers.  Despite dressing out only seven players and finishing the game with just four players due to a foul out, an ejection and a late-game injury, the visiting Trojans battled throughout the opening half.  Eight first-half treys, however, propelled the home-standing Lions to a 38-25 halftime advantage.

As he did to begin the game, EMCC sharp-shooting freshman guard Hunter McCutcheon scored the first two baskets of the second half to continue the Lions’ efficient offensive performance.  With a dozen EMCC players scoring in the contest, McCutcheon finished with a season-high 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the three-point arc.

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While out-scoring Delta, 47-23, in the second stanza, EMCC’s lead increased to 20 points (47-27) on a Nick Walker basket early in the half.  The margin grew to 30+ points (59-28) a few minutes later on a Jakorie Smith bucket.  The differential increased to as many as 42 points (85-43) during the final minutes of play on a three-point play by Elijah Newsome.

In shooting 51 percent (31-61 FGs) from the field for the game, including 13 made treys on 29 attempts (45%), the Lions also received a dozen points from Danny Washington and 10 points from Blake Butler.

Riding a current four-game winning streak, Coach Billy Begley’s EMCC Lions (11-4 overall and 9-3 in MACCC North play) were scheduled to play at division-leading Northeast Mississippi on Thursday (March 18), but the game has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Mississippi Delta men were led by Shamarvious Hodges’ 12 points, followed by Willie Eagins Jr. and Chavis Banks with 11 points each.

The closely contested women’s game played at Delta’s J.T. Hall Coliseum in Moorhead proved to be a defensive battle the entire way.  Following a low-scoring 8-8 deadlock at the end of the opening quarter, the home-standing Lady Trojans owned a 21-20 halftime edge.

The second half featured consecutive significant runs by both teams on the way to a thrilling finish.  After Kyunna Thomas’ three-pointer at the 3:50 mark of the third quarter capped a 13-2 EMCC run, Delta’s Makia Willis ignited a 12-0 spurt that put the home team back in front, 41-39, early in the fourth quarter.

Keyed by a pair of Jenessa Souza made treys down the stretch, the Lady Lions moved ahead by six points (51-45) with 2:30 remaining in regulation.  Willis countered with two triples of her own, including a game-tying shot coming well behind the three-point arc with the shot clock winding down and just under 30 seconds remaining in the quarter, to ultimately send the game into overtime.

The Lady Trojans owned the slight advantage through the first four minutes of the extra session.  Nyah Davis’ pair of free throws with 30 seconds left in overtime matched Amiyah Staples’ go-ahead baseline basket to reclaim Delta’s slim one-point lead at 58-57.

While EMCC was attempting to run out most of the remaining time on the game clock, Souza bombed in a straightaway 3-pointer to put the Lady Lions back in front with seven ticks still left.  Antanisha Wade’s long-range leaner misfired for Delta to allow the visitors to escape with the narrow victory.

Improving to 7-3 both overall and in division play with their third straight win, Coach Sharon Thompson’s reigning conference champions were powered by Ja’Mia Hollings’ 20th career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.  Freshman Siarra Jackson followed with 11 points, while Souza’s three treys gave her nine points for the winners.

Willis led all scorers with a game-high 23 points for the Lady Trojans.

The EMCC women are scheduled to play host to Northeast Mississippi and Itawamba on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, to close out the week. Thursday’s tip-off against Northeast is set for 6 p.m. and Saturday’s start time is slated for 2 p.m. at Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus.