No. 20 EMCC holds on for 74-72 win at Coahoma; Lady Lions fall 72-58 at home to CCC
Published 3:37 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2022
CLARKSDALE/SCOOBA — East Mississippi Community College’s basketball teams closed out the month of January by splitting with Coahoma during Monday’s MACCC hoops action contested on the campuses of the respective schools. EMCC’s 20th-ranked men’s team held on for a 74-72 road victory over the Tigers at the Pinnacle, while the Lady Lions dropped a 72-58 home decision to the CCC women at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.
During men’s action played in Clarksdale, the Lions scored 10 unanswered points to turn an early deficit into a 16-7 lead midway through the opening half. Following two ties later in the half, the visitors then reeled off nine straight points to take a 29-22 lead into halftime.
Following the break, EMCC seemed to take control of the contest early in the second half by scoring 14 unanswered points to open up a 19-point advantage. A floater by Kevin Henry around the eight-minute mark put the Lions on top, 57-38, in seemingly comfortable fashion.
Coahoma then began slowly chipping away at EMCC’s lead largely in part to Quan Brown’s second-half scoring exploits and eight made treys by the Tigers over the game’s final 20 minutes. Six straight points by Brown first cut the deficit to 13 points (57-44), and then consecutive baskets by the reigning MACCC Player of the Week trimmed the margin to single digits (63-55) with two minutes remaining in the contest.
With EMCC’s lead back up to double figures (67-57) entering the game’s final minute, the Tigers exploded for five three-pointers during the last 51 seconds of action to cut bigger chunks out of the Lions’ lead. As the visitors missed five free throws down the stretch, Coahoma managed to make it a one-possession game (72-69) on Trey Logan’s banked trey with four ticks left. During the waning moments, Danny Washington’s game-clinching free throws offset another Logan three-pointer at the final buzzer to account for the final two-point margin.
Improving to 14-4 overall and 7-2 in MACCC play, head coach Billy Begley’s EMCC Lions were led by Jakorie Smith’s 17th career double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Blake Butler and Henry followed with 16 and 12 points, respectively, for the winners.
Falling to 5-12 overall and 1-7 within the conference, the Coahoma men were led by Brown’s game-high 20 points – all in the second half due to first-half foul trouble. Logan and Jo Perez followed with a dozen points apiece, while Ben Galmore added 11 points for the Tigers.
The women’s contest in Scooba was decided in the fourth quarter with the Lady Tigers owning a 25-12 advantage during the final period.
After EMCC held a 13-9 lead late in the first quarter, Coahoma scored the last 10 points of the quarter to grab a 19-13 advantage following the opening 10 minutes of action. The Lady Lions outscored the visitors, 16-11, in the second quarter to make it a one-point game (30-29) at the half in favor of CCC.
The breakeven third quarter featured eight consecutive lead changes as the teams exchanged baskets coming back from the halftime break. Sukkima Suell’s put-back basket at the end of the quarter kept it a one-point contest (47-46) heading into the decisive fourth quarter.
Following a pair of ties early in the quarter, Tiara Abron’s consecutive three-pointers fueled an 8-0 Coahoma run that put the visitors ahead, 59-51, with 6:10 remaining in the game. EMCC managed to cut the deficit in half (59-55) after back-to-back steals by DJ Williams and Shakira Wilson led to breakaway baskets.
That was as close as the Lady Lions would get, however, as Coahoma then responded with 10 unanswered points, including treys by Ashanti Backus and Nakia Cheatham, on the way to the 14-point road triumph.
Dropping to 8-9 overall and 5-4 in the MACCC, head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions were led by Williams’ 14 points. Kyunna Thomas, Siarra Jackson and Markiema Lancaster followed with nine points apiece.
Moving to 12-5 overall and 6-3 in league play, the Coahoma women had four players score in double figures. Backus led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Cheatham and Elishia Wilson with 15 points each and Tiara Abron with a dozen points.
The East Mississippi basketball teams are scheduled to continue MACCC action by taking on East Central Community College on Thursday (Feb. 3). The EMCC men are set to play host to the Warriors in Scooba, while the Lady Lions will travel to Decatur to meet ECCC in women’s action. Both games are slated for 6 p.m. tip-offs.