No. 7 EMCC Lions get back on winning track with 82-56 home win over Mississippi Delta

Published 1:53 pm Monday, January 31, 2022

SCOOBA — The seventh-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College got back on the winning track with a convincing 82-56 home win over Mississippi Delta during makeup MACCC men’s basketball action played Saturday afternoon at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.

Playing their third game in six days after falling to conference front-runners Pearl River and Northeast Mississippi earlier in the week, the Lions’ weekend action against the Trojans was the result of a previously postponed (Jan. 20) contest due to COVID-19 concerns.

Blake Butler opened the makeup match with a pair of three-pointers to spark EMCC to an early 9-3 lead. After Delta tied the score at 11-11, the Lions scored eight unanswered points to move back ahead, 19-11, on back-to-back treys by Jakorie Smith midway through the opening half.

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On the strength of eight first-half triples as a team – three each by Butler and Smith – EMCC settled for a 40-33 halftime advantage after MDCC’s Markell Petro scored the final five points of the half.

The visitors continued to battle tough through the opening minutes of the second half by cutting the deficit to just two points (47-45) after consecutive baskets by Rylen Walker. Morgan Green opened the half by scoring six straight Delta points.

Sparked by three-pointers from Danny Washington and Brandon Deravine, the Lions responded by scoring eight unanswered points to increase their lead to 55-45 by the 14:33 mark. A pair of Kevin Henry free throws and a breakaway dunk by Smith midway through the half then permanently put EMCC in front by double digits.

Capped by six straight made free throws by Butler as a result of consecutive technical fouls called on MDCC’s bench, a 10-0 EMCC rally stretched the advantage to 21 points (72-51) by the 4:29 mark.

Improving to 13-4 overall and 6-2 in conference play, head coach Billy Begley’s EMCC Lions had four players score in double figures. Smith and Butler finished with 19 points apiece, while Deravine and Traemond Pittman followed with 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the winners.

Falling to 2-15 overall and 0-8 within the MACCC, Mississippi Delta was led by Walker’s game-high 23 points. Green added a dozen points for the Trojans.

East Mississippi’s basketball teams are scheduled to continue MACCC action by taking on the Coahoma Tigers Monday evening (Jan. 31) on the schools’ respective campuses. The EMCC men will travel to Clarksdale, while head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions are set to play host to CCC in women’s action on the Scooba campus. Both games are slated for 6 p.m. tip-offs.