Pearl River defeats Mississippi Delta to secure back-to-back 20-win seasons
Published 10:37 am Tuesday, February 14, 2023
POPLARVILLE, Miss. – The Pearl River women’s basketball team’s defense kept Mississippi Delta from finding a rhythm in a 68-48 victory inside Marvin R. White Coliseum on Monday.
The win gives the Wildcats 20 wins on the season and back-to-back 20-win seasons. It is only the second time in PRCC women’s basketball history for back-to-back 20-win seasons.
“A credit to them, this team has accomplished something that has only been done one other time in the history of the program.” PRCC head coach Scotty Fletcher said of the team’s accomplishment. “Obviously, we are not done yet. I am very proud of this group for accomplishing that. It is a reflection of their commitment to hard work.”
The Wildcats (20-2 overall; 9-2 MACCC) used a smothering defense to help spark a 9-0 run to open the game. J’Mani Ingram (North Augusta, S.C.) opened the scoring with a quick basket. Reed followed with a finger roll layup and another basket to bring the score to 7-0. After a timeout with 6:30 left in the quarter, Jaliscia Florence (Tupelo) collected an errant Trojan pass and went three-quarters of the court for a fast break layup to give the Wildcats a 9-0 lead.
After expanding the lead to 13-4, Keshunti Nichols (Pearl) blocked a Trojan shot out of bounds, the Wildcat defense kept the Mississippi Delta offense at bay to force a shot clock violation. With a 15-7 lead, Brandy Scott (Hammond, La.) forced a turnover, drove the length of the court, and converted a layup on a drive past the defender to give the Wildcats a 17-7 lead.
Alexis Arrington (Terry) closed out the quarter, 19-7, with a nice steal, and finished with a stutter step and drive past the defense for an easy layup.
Scott scored the first four points of the second quarter with a couple of layups to give the Wildcats a 16-point lead, 23-7. Ingram broke a four-minute scoring drought by both teams when she made a step-through layup past Mississippi Delta defenders to give the Wildcats a 25-7 lead. Moments later, Reed hit a 3-pointer from the corner to push the lead to 30-9. Following a basket by Ingram, Reed hit Marcavia Shavers (Biloxi) with a nice pass in the paint which Shavers converted and the Wildcats led 34-14.
Mississippi Delta gained the most momentum it had for the night as the Trojans ended the half with an eight-point run to close the gap to 12, 34-22.
Florence stopped the Trojan run with a basket to open the second half to bring the Wildcat lead to 36-22. Moments later, Reed was fouled on a layup as she cut through the defense. After converting the free throw, the Wildcats led by 15, 39-24.
Halle Traylor (Tupelo) pushed the Wildcat lead to 18, 44-26, with a big 3-pointer as the shot clock expired. After both teams traded baskets, Nichols stole the ball under the Mississippi Delta basket, drove from the length of the court, and found Traylor with a nice pass for an easy layup. A rebound and putback by Shavers brought the Wildcats to the half-century mark and gave PRCC a 16-point lead, 50-34. After opening the quarter with a layup, Florence closed out the third period with a nice euro-step basket and the Wildcats entered the final period with a 52-38 lead.
In a bit of deva vu, the Wilcats opened the fourth quarter like the first with a 9-0 run with scoring from Reed, Florence, Ingram and Shavers. The run was highlighted by Ingram who rebounded a Mississippi Delta airball and drove the length of the court for a layup to give the Wildcats a 20-point lead, 58-38.
Florence provided another full-court highlight after gathering a loose ball under the Trojan basket and going coast-to-coast for a layup pushing the lead to 21, 66-45. The Wildcats closed the scoring with Reed finding Ingram with a nice pass to give PRCC a 68-48 victory.
LEADING THE WAY
Four Wildcats scored in double digits and the team collected 46 rebounds and forced 18 turnovers.
Ingram had a double-double on the evening with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Reed had 14 points to go with four steals and three assists. Florence scored 12 points with four rebounds and three steals. Scott finished with 10 points.
“I know we are locked in. We have to keep getting better on defense. The offense is going to come,” Reed on the team’s effort. “We keep working on defense every day and rebounding and they are going to play a big part in how far we go.”
The Wildcats will take on the Northeast Tigers in Booneville on Thursday. Tipoff inside the Bonner Arnold Coliseum is 6 p.m. The game will be livestreamed at nemcctv.com.
For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on Twitter (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics).