Second half surge propels PRCC women to 6-0
Published 5:25 pm Monday, November 22, 2021
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Aided by a 12-0 run out of halftime, the Pearl River women’s basketball team raced past Southern University-Shreveport 92-48 on Saturday afternoon inside Marvin R. White Coliseum.
PRCC improved to 6-0 with the win, eclipsing the Wildcats’ 5-0 start in 2016-17. The Wildcats enter the break as one of three MACCC teams that are still undefeated.
Despite the lopsided victory, PRCC coach Scotty Fletcher said he saw more than enough areas to improve. Specifically, he said his team needs to get better defending one-on-one and then converting free throws; PRCC was 12-for-24 from the line Saturday.
“Those two things were blaring to me while I was sitting over there,” he said, adding the team needs to improve its attention to detail. “… These breaks kill you. It’s almost like you get two different teams. Hopefully our training and what we did early on will allow us to stay in shape. We’ll get some practices in during the week. We have to get back into the lab.
“There are no easy games from here on out. We have to prepare the right way during this break.”
Ty’Mesha Reed (Meridian) helped set the tone early, scoring PRCC’s first six points; her second bucket she picked off a pass and took it coast-to-coast.
A fastbreak layup from Halle Traylor (Tupelo) extended PRCC’s lead to 8-0.
Fletcher felt the offense bogged down a bit after its fast start.
“I thought we had a good start to the game, but once that run hit, we got beat on some one-on-one matchups,” he said.
A 3 from Traylor later in the quarter extended PRCC’s lead to 13-2.
The Jaguars made it interesting midway through the frame, closing PRCC’s lead to 16-13. A basket from Bryanna Taylor (Terry) and free throws from Tristen Washington (Gonzales, La.; East Ascension) and Traylor gave PRCC a 21-13 lead and the Wildcats took a 22-18 advantage into the first break.
Four points from Marcavia Shavers (Biloxi) and four more from Keshunti Nichols (Pearl) pushed PRCC to its first 10-point lead at 30-20.
Both teams traded baskets for much of the second quarter, but baskets from Reed and Otashae Burrage (Carthage; Leake County), plus a 3-pointer from Traylor gave PRCC a 41-31 lead at the midway point.
Whatever Fletcher told his players at halftime must have worked as his Wildcats stormed out of the break on a 12-0 run.
Nicholas jumpstarted the run with two jumpers and then nailed a 3 in the corner for a 48-31 lead.
The Wildcats played so well, the Jags didn’t convert their first basket until there were about 5 minutes remaining in the quarter.
“It was definitely a better start in the third quarter,” Fletcher said. “… That third quarter was a really good run to pull away.”
Even after the basket, the Wildcats closed out the third quarter on a 13-2 run for a 68-35 lead.
The fourth quarter featured more of the same from Pearl River as Fletcher continued to rotate his lineup.
Gabby Collier (Brandon) caught fire late, at one point hitting three straight 3 pointers to extend PRCC’s insurmountable lead to 83-33 with 4:25 remaining in the game.
“She finds a way to score,” Fletcher said. “Last game she had 10 with eight from the free throw line. She just finds ways to score.”
LEADING THE WAY
Six different players scored in double figures Saturday. Collier, Washington and Traylor each scored 12, while Nichols finished with 11 and Reed and Shavers scored 10.
Reed also added eight assists, while Amaijah Smith (Gulfport) dished out five. Nichols led PRCC with eight rebounds. Alesha Temple (Oak Grove) pulled in seven more.
“Keke was phenomenal,” Fletcher said. “Her versatility really showed up.”
The Wildcats return to action Tuesday, Nov. 30 for a home contest against Delgado. Opening tip inside Marvin R. White Coliseum is set for 5:30 p.m.
Season and single-game tickets are available now and can be purchased at PRCCAthletics.com/tickets.
All home Pearl River basketball games are livestreamed for free at PRCCMedia.com/gold. Fans who have Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV devices can also watch the Wildcat broadcasts by downloading the “Pearl River CC” channel from their app stores.
Games can also be heard on WRJW 1320-AM, 106.9 FM and WRJWRadio.com.