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3-pointer lifts Mississippi Delta past Bobcats, 71-68
 February 27, 2013

By Shawn Wansley, JCJC Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE – Nathaniel Watkins hit a 3-point basket from deep in the left corner with :05 remaining to lift the Mississippi Delta Community College Trojans to a 71-68 victory over Jones County Junior College here Tuesday afternoon in the opening round of the men’s MACJC Tournament.

After Watkins made his shot, the Bobcats got the ball downcourt quickly to J.J. Bolton. Bolton got a shot to tie at the buzzer, but it did not fall and the Trojans had secured the victory.

JCJC falls to 17-7 on the season, but will advance to the Region 23 Tournament March 6-9 at the A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College. The tournament bracket will be announced on Friday afternoon.

Mississippi Delta is now 10-12 and will play Mississippi Gulf Coast at 5 p.m. on Wednesday in the semifinals. MGCCC upset East Mississippi 84-82 in overtime Tuesday at Shivers Gymnasium on the campus of Pearl River Community College. Northwest met Southwest and Pearl River faced Coahoma in the final two men’s games on Tuesday.

The Lady Bobcats will return to action at 1 p.m. on Wednesday in the women’s semifinals vs. Northeast Mississippi Community College. JCJC whipped Northwest Mississippi 77-50 on Monday. That victory assures the Lady Bobcats of a spot in the regional tourney next week.

All games involving JCJC at the state tournament and the regional tournament will be webcast on www.jcjc.tv. Airtime for Wednesday’s game will be at 12:55 p.m. with Shawn Wansley on the call.

Trojans 71, Bobcats 68

The game was tied 33-33 at halftime, but the Trojans took control to start the second half.

A basket by Watkins off an assist by Anthony McDonald gave MDCC their longest lead of the game at 56-43 with 11:18 remaining.

But the Bobcats roared back and took a 61-59 lead with 4:54 left when Cory Jackson converted a 3-point play. A James Evans’ jumper tied the game at 61-61 with 4:00 remaining.

Bolton hit two free throws to put the Bobcats ahead 63-61 with 3:22 left, but McDonald scored off an offensive rebound to tie the game again at 63-63 with 2:55 to play.

Detrick Davis then made a free throw with 2:29 left to give the Bobcats a 64-63 lead. But Johnny Rucker hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key extended to put MDCC ahead 66-64 with 2:05 remaining.

Donta Pittman hit a pair of free throws with 1:49 to play to tie it at 66-66 and Bolton made two free tosses with 1:29 remaining to give the Bobcats a 68-66 lead. Jaimiason Hadley hit a floater in the lane to tie the game for the ninth time at 68-68 with :54 left.

The Bobcats came down, missed a shot and MDCC secured the rebound with around :35 to play. They were able to hold the ball for the final shot.

McDonald dribbled the ball for most of the time and then drove down the lane. He dished it out to Watkins, who made the open shot from the corner and advanced MDCC to the semifinals.

In the first half, MDCC had leads of 12-7 and 24-19 before the Bobcats rallied. A Bolton free throw put JCJC ahead 29-28 with 3:38 left and Jackson followed with a basket to make it 31-28 with 3:17 remaining.

But the Trojans were able to the game at 33-33 at halftime.

Detrick Davis led the Bobcats with 17 points, while Pittman added 15. Jackson and Bolton added nine each. JCJC was 14-of-21 from the free throw line and had four 3-pointers.

McDonald had 24 points, including six 3-pointers. Evans and Watkins had 10 each. The Trojans were 11-of-16 from the free throw line and had 10 3-pointers.

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