EMCC women earn 92-71 home win over Northeast; No. 7 Lions fall 72-67 at No. 20 Tigers

Published 3:11 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2022

SCOOBA/BOONEVILLE — The East Mississippi Community College basketball teams split with Northeast Mississippi during Monday’s MACCC hoops action played on the schools’ respective campuses. The EMCC Lady Lions featured five players scoring in double figures to claim a 92-71 home win over the Lady Tigers at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum, while the No. 7 EMCC men had their nine-game winning streak snapped by dropping a hard-fought 72-67 road decision to the 20th-ranked Northeast Tigers at Bonner Arnold Coliseum.
In women’s action on the Scooba campus, the Lady Lions used a 9-2 run at the end of the opening quarter to turn an early 13-6 deficit into a 15-15 tie to close the period.
EMCC claimed its first lead of the contest at the start of the second quarter and never trailed again. With Jenessa Souza scoring seven straight EMCC points early in the quarter, the Lady Lions went into halftime with a 40-33 lead.
Following intermission, the home-standing Lady Lions outscored Northeast, 25-18, for the second straight quarter and led by as many as 17 points before owning a 65-51 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
EMCC’s margin hovered around the 20-point mark for the remaining 10 minutes of action on the way to winning for the fourth time in five tries during the month of January.
Improving to 8-7 overall and 5-2 in MACCC play, head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions were led by Souza and Shakira Wilson with 17 points apiece and five made three-pointers between them. Freshman point guard DJ Williams, out of Columbus, totaled 16 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Kyunna Thomas and Siarra Jackson added 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the winners.
Falling to 3-14 overall and 1-7 within the conference, the Northeast women were paced by Calysia Phillips’ game-high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting along with 17 points from JaQuasia Dorrough.
In the men’s matchup of top 20 teams, EMCC’s seventh-ranked Lions owned an early 10-5 lead when Danny Washington converted a defensive rebound into a made basket six minutes into the contest.
Following three ties at 16, 18 and 21, the visitors took their final lead (23-21) of the game on Jakorie Smith’s basket at the 5:14 mark. Keithean Brooks countered with seven straight Northeast points to highlight a 9-0 run that put the 20th-ranked Tigers in front, 30-23, with three minutes left in the first half.
After Smith nailed a trey and Traemond Pittman hit a pair of free throws to narrow EMCC’s deficit to a basket (30-28), Northeast outscored the visitors, 9-5, over the final two minutes of the half to take a 39-33 halftime lead.
The Tigers increased their lead to double figures (47-37) on Hobert Grayson’s three-pointer at the 15:41 mark and then further extended the margin to 13 points (59-46) on Kylan Blackmon’s basket with 7:19 remaining in the game.
The Lions battled back with a couple of late-game spurts that kept them in the game down the stretch. First, a pair of Nick Walker free throws on the heels of a Blake Butler three-pointer trimmed Northeast’s lead to six points (61-55) by the 4:34 mark.
After the Tigers went back ahead by double digits (66-55), Butler capped an 8-3 EMCC run with a put-back basket of his own miss to again make it a six-point game at 69-63 heading into the final minute of play. Coming out of a timeout, however, the Lions were called for a foul and Northeast’s Steven Gentry converted both charity tosses to essentially seal the Tigers’ 30th consecutive home victory inside Bonner Arnold Coliseum. The five-point setback for the Lions also marked their first road loss of the season.
Slipping to 12-3 overall and 5-1 in MACCC play with their first loss since Nov. 13, head coach Billy Begley’s EMCC Lions were led by Butler and Washington with 13 points apiece. Smith added a dozen points for the visitors.
With their eighth straight victory on the season, the Northeast Tigers had four players score in double figures. Led by Blackmon’s game-high 18 points, NEMCC also received 12 points from Brooks off the bench along with 10 points each by Grayson and Zeke Cook.
The East Mississippi basketball teams continue MACCC action by taking on Pearl River Community College on Thursday (Jan. 27). The Lions will play host to the conference-leading Wildcats (13-2 & 8-0 MACCC) in Scooba, while the EMCC Lady Lions will travel to Poplarville to meet the PRCC women. Both games are slated to tip off at 6 p.m.
Additionally, in a makeup date from a previously postponed home game against Mississippi Delta, the EMCC men’s team is set to welcome the MDCC Trojans for a Saturday afternoon (Jan. 29) contest on the Scooba campus. The Lions’ third game in six days is slated for a 3:30 p.m. tip-off at EMCC’s Currie Coliseum.

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