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East Mississippi drops key division hoops doubleheader Thursday at Northwest Mississippi
 January 25, 2013

SENATOBIA – Neither East Mississippi Community College basketball team could muster a lead Thursday night against home-standing Northwest Mississippi Community College, as the Lady Lions fell 81-64 and the Lions lost 79-67 in MACJC North Division action at Howard Coliseum on the NWCC campus.

In the women’s game, head coach Sharon Thompson’s EMCC Lady Lions went more than five minutes between scores and better than seven minutes between made field goals to dig themselves an early 14-point hole (22-8) midway through the opening period.  EMCC managed to get to within 10 points (35-25) late in the half, but Northwest went into intermission on a 7-0 run to take a 42-25 advantage at the break.

The margin grew to 20 points (50-30) early in the second half, but the Lady Lions clawed back to within 11 points (61-50) on a Wilma Davis put-back basket at the 8:33 mark.  Following a subsequent Northwest turnover, EMCC had a chance to cut the deficit to single digits but came up empty on a couple of good looks at the basket.  The Lady Rangers responded with four quick points en route to cruising to their fourth division win in five tries and improving to 13-3 overall on the season.

EMCC’s Davis, a freshman from West Point, recorded her first collegiate double-double with season highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds.  Sophomore Dajah McCarty, of Quitman, had 12 points and eight rebounds, while Starkville’s Janay Townsel added a season-high dozen points off the Lady Lion bench.  Northwest’s pressure defense also contributed to 29 EMCC turnovers, many of which led to easy Lady Ranger buckets.

Monique Biggins paced a balanced Northwest scoring attack with a game-high 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting.  Connecting on 59 percent (34-of-58 FGs) from the field on the night as a team, the Lady Rangers also received 16 points from Shaquilla Isom.

In the nightcap, the Lions also got off to a sluggish start by trailing 9-2 four minutes into the contest.  Slowed by 27-percent shooting (11-of-41) and with 14 turnovers in the opening half, the visitors trailed 39-27 at halftime.

With their season’s leading scorer and rebounder Jarekious Bradley coming off the bench following intermission, the EMCC men chipped away at Northwest’s lead in the second stanza.  The Lions got as close as two points (55-53) following a pair of Bradley free throws at the 8:10 mark, but Northwest quickly countered with back-to-back buckets to stretch the lead back out to six points.

As the visitors battled foul trouble down the stretch, four made free throws by NWCC’s DeMarcus McVay on three straight trips to the charity stripe upped the margin to eight points (63-55) with 4:51 remaining in the contest.  The Lions pulled to within six points on a Bradley basket, but the Rangers essentially nailed down the victory at the line.  For the game, Northwest outscored EMCC by a 30-11 tally from the charity stripe.  With the visitors being whistled for 31 personal fouls, the Rangers attempted 47 free throws on the night to just 19 attempts for the Lions.

Along with the free throw differential, the EMCC men finished the game shooting a season-low 31 percent (25-of-82 FGs) from the field.  In dropping just their fourth decision in 41 regular-season division games played over the past four seasons, the Lions fell to 11-5 overall on the season and are now tied with Northwest Mississippi atop the division standings at 4-1.    

In one half of play, Bradley recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 25 points and 12 rebounds in 18 minutes played during the second half.  Micah Walker and Mack Foster followed with a dozen points apiece for head coach Mark White’s EMCC Lions.

Improving to 11-3 overall and 4-1 within the division, Northwest was led by McVay’s 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field and 7-of-12 from the line.  Charles Eaton added 17 points for the winners.

The East Mississippi basketball teams will look to get back to their winning ways with a two-game home stand next week by playing host to Coahoma Community College on Monday and then welcoming Holmes Community College on Thursday.  Game times are set for 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. both nights at EMCC’s Keyes T. Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus.  Both doubleheaders are also slated to be video-streamed live on EMCC’s Ustream channel at www.ustream.tv/channel/emcc-basketball, which is easily accessible from EMCC’s newly launched athletics website, www.EMCCAthletics.com.

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