It was almost déjà vu all over again for Pearl River Community College, as the Lady Wildcats let most of a nine-point lead slip away in the final minutes against Mississippi Gulf Coast.
But this time Pearl River was able to hold on to secure a 62-60 victory in women’s basketball action Monday night at M.R. White Coliseum.
The Lady Wildcats evened their overall record at 10-10, and improved to 3-10 in the South Division. MGCCC dropped to 7-15 and 1-12.
“Our girls were determined not to let this one slip away,” said Lady Wildcats coach Scotty Fletcher, whose team gave up a 16-point lead in a 51-49 loss in the earlier meeting between the two teams.
“We’re laying a foundation for the future, and this is a big step for us. We have a lot of freshmen who have played a lot of minutes and gained a lot of valuable experience that will serve us well next season.”
After spotting the Lady Bulldogs an early 6-0 lead, PRCC surged ahead 16-12 at the end of the first quarter, thanks to a pair of 3-point shots by freshman Rehema Franklin.
The Lady Wildcats led by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, before Gulf Coast closed the gap. Pearl River led 28-23 at halftime.
Franklin’s putback layup at the buzzer put PRCC ahead 47-43 heading into the final period, and another Franklin trey put the Lady Wildcats up 62-53 with 2:44 to play.
Once again, the Lady Bulldogs rallied, and Eanna Sims’ three-point play with 1:17 to go cut the margin to two. The Lady Wildcats turned the ball over twice, but forced a Gulf Coast turnover, setting up a frantic final sequence.
After a time out, Gulf Coast had the ball with 11.1 seconds to play, but on the inbounds play, freshman Charisma Walker disrupted the Lady Bulldogs’ play with a near-steal, and Gulf Coast was unable to get a shot off in the remaining time.
“Charisma had a very active game at both ends of the court,” said Fletcher. “Our game plan was to defend and rebound, and we did a good job of that.”
Franklin led Pearl River with 17 points, and Walker had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Shaniqua Tobias led all scorers with 21 points for Gulf Coast.
The Lady Wildcats will complete their season at 6 p.m. Thursday at home against Copiah-Lincoln.
PRCC BASKETBALL SUMMARY
Monday at Poplarville
Pearl River 62, Gulf Coast 60
Gulf Coast 12 11 20 17 – 60
Pearl River 16 12 19 15 – 62
MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST (7-15, 1-12 in South Division): Kim Calhoun 5, Deona Morgan 2, Shaiqua Tobias 21, Whitney Williams 5, Eanna Sims 14, MiMi Bisop 5, Keiara Williams 8.
PEARL RIVER (9-10, 2-10 in South Division): Adyn Strickland 9, Charisma Walker 11 (10 rebounds), Rehema Franklin 17, Tariah Mouton 5, Cotoria Blackmon 5, Kyla Malone 9 (6 rebounds), Tiara Robins 4 (7 rebounds), Deja Starks 2.