Pearl River Community College couldn’t handle prosperity against Mississippi Gulf Coast, letting a 16-point lead slip through their fingers in a 51-49 loss to Mississippi Gulf Coast in women’s basketball action Thursday night at Perkinston.
PRCC lost its fourth straight game, falling to 8-5 overall and 1-5 in the South Division. MGCCC improved to 7-8 and 1-5.
“We started missing shots, and I think that affected our level of effort,” said PRCC coach Scotty Fletcher. “And we really miss the leadership of Elexis Peyton, our starting point guard.
“I think we got intimidated by the environment, and there was no one who could get us settled down. That’s where we really missed Elexis.”
Peyton, a freshman from Jackson, suffered a season-ending knee injury in early January, and the Lady Wildcats have struggled offensively ever since.
Nevertheless, the Lady Wildcats used a strong second quarter to build a 28-16 lead at halftime, then increased their margin to 16 points, 34-18, with 7:07 to play in the third quarter.
But Gulf Coast outscored Pearl River 15-7 over the remainder of the period to trail 41-33 going into the final 10 minutes. The Lady Bulldogs steadily whittled away at the deficit, outscoring PRCC 12-6 to cut the lead to 47-45 with 2:50 to play.
Gulf Coast made it 49-48 with 55.7 seconds left on a free throw, then got a pair of turnovers on successive Lady Wildcat possessions before Jordana Jolley was fouled with 8.9 seconds left.
Jolley sank two free throws to give MGCCC the lead, and the Lady Bulldogs sealed the win after forcing a Pearl River turnover and getting another foul shot with less than a second remaining.
Lady Wildcats’ leading scorer Rehema Franklin had a rare off night, finishing with just 7 points, well under her 19.5-point average. The Lady Wildcats also converted just 15 of 32 foul shots, and were 0-for-4 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Freshman Charisma Walker had a game-high 13 points, Tyasia Willis added 11 points and 9 rebounds, and Adyn Strickland pulled down 13 rebounds for PRCC.
The Lady Wildcats will be back on the road for a 6 p.m. contest Monday against Copiah-Lincoln, before returning home to face Meridian next Thursday.
PRCC BASKETBALL SUMMARY
Thursday at Perkinston
Gulf Coast 51, Pearl River 49
Pearl River 10 18 13 8 – 49
Gulf Coast 8 8 17 18 – 51
PEARL RIVER (8-5, 1-5 in South Division): Adyn Strickland 7 (13 rebounds), Charisma Walker 13, Rehema Franklin 7, Tyasia Willis 11 (9 rebounds), Kyla Malone 9, Tiara Robins 2.
MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST (7-8, 1-5 in South Division): Kim Calhoun 1, Deona Morgan 8, Shaniqua Tobias 8, Jordana Jolley 6, Eden Duckworth 4, Whitney Williams 2, Eanna Sims 7, Mimi Bishop 3, Fredricka Dortch 2, Keiara Williams 19.