PRCC sweeps SMCC

            POPLARVILLE --- Pearl River Community College grabbed a pair of impressive MACJC South Division women’s and men’s basketball victories over Southwest Mississippi here Monday with the Lady Wildcats pulling out a hard-fought 60-56 victory, while the Wildcats bombed the visiting Bears 87-71.
            PRCC’s women, No. 1 in the South Division, improved to 14-3 overall and 9-2 in division play, while its third-place men are now 14-5 and 7-4. SMCC’s women, tied with Jones County in third place in the South, dropped to 15-5 and 7-4, while its fourth-place men are now 12-8 and 6-5.
            The top four finishers in the MACJC North and South Divisions will earn berths in Feb. 24-27’s MACJC State Tournament, which will likely be played at North men’s leader Itawamba in Fulton.
            ICC’s men lead the North at 8-1, followed by East Mississippi (6-2), Northwest Mississippi (6-3), and Coahoma (6-4), while ICC’s women are tied with East Miss at the top of the division at 8-1, followed by Mississippi Delta (7-2) and Northwest Mississippi (5-4).
            In the South, Jones County’s men lead the way at 9-2, followed by Mississippi Gulf Coast (8-3), Pearl River, and Southwest. Copiah-Lincoln remains in the mix at 5-6. On the women’s side, PRCC is tops, followed by Meridian (8-3) and Southwest and Jones (7-4). Co-Lin is also in contention at  6-5.
            In Monday’s women’s game, the Lady Wildcats grabbed an early lead and held on to their advantage for the first 15-plus minutes until Fredrikah Wilson hit back-to-back baskets to give the Lady Bears their first lead of the game at 23-21 with 3:40 left before the break. Pearl River regained the lead at 26-25 when Deantra Darjean, a Prairie View A&M transfer out of Yates High in Houston, Tex., banged in a three with 2:46 left, but Katrina Littlepage answered by sinking a pair of foul shots seconds later via a technical foul called on The River, then sank two more and followed with a basket to put SMCC up 30-26 with 1:56 left.
            Littlepage’s free throw was the Lady Bears last point before the intermission, while Kalisha Washington out of Murrah High in Jackson sank a trey at the buzzer to pull the Lady Wildcats to within two --- 31-29 --- at the half.
            Washington opened the second-half scoring with a three to put PRCC up 32-31 and Darjean followed suit three minutes later to tie it at 35-35, but Littlepage’s responded with a basket to give the Lady Bears the lead, which they held on to for next nine minutes before Darjean hit a pair of foul shots to tie it at 48 with 5:50 left.
            Two stalemates followed over the next three minutes, but Darjean’s field goal with 1:20 remaining put PRCC up 55-54 and the Lady Wildcats never looked back.
            Littlepage led SMCC with 17 points (six rebounds), while Wilson added 13 (eight rebounds), April Levy eight (four rebounds), Madison Mault six (two treys, four rebounds), Cortney Epting five (five rebounds), Raven Reyes four (four rebounds), Talisa Sherman two, and Tee Myers one.
            Washington paced PRCC with a game-high 18 points (two treys), while Darjean added 13 (three treys, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks), Shanta’ Echols of Sumrall High nine (eight rebounds, two blocks), Essence Pulliam out of Forest Hill High in Jackson seven (six rebounds), Tamesha Horne of Taylorsville High five, Vamikka Smith out of Murphy High in Mobile, Ala., three (seven rebounds), Taylor Brister, an East Central CC transfer from Prentiss, two (seven assists), and Tamera Williams of Hinds AHS two.
Pearl River hit 38.2 percent (21 of 55) from the field to Southwest’s dismal 23.9 percent (16 of 67), while the Lady Wildcats were five of 16 (31.3 percent) from three-point range to the Lady Bears’ four-of-21 (19 percent) effort. At the foul line, PRCC was 13 of 18 (72.2 percent), while SMCC was 20 of 29 (69 percent). Pearl River was blistered on the boards, finishing with 35 rebounds (nine offensive, 26 defensive), while Southwest hauled in 56 (29 offensive, 27 defensive). The River committed 15 turnovers in the contest to SMCC’s 18.
The men’s game saw eight ties in the first half and Southwest managed to grab brief leads --- at the 6:05 mark (23-21) and 5:28 mark (25-23) --- but Troy State (Ala.) signee Jeremy Hollimon of Gulfport High banged in a pair of free throws to tie it up for the last time and Quintarius Porter out for Forest Hill High in Jackson followed with a basket to give The River the lead for good.
Porter’s bucket kicked off an 8-4 scoring run to give PRCC a 35-29 lead at the intermission.
A technical foul called on Southwest head coach Casey Carter in the final seconds of the first half saw Hollimon shooting two foul shots to open the second to pump The River’s lead to eight. Bryant McGee of West Marion High got two on a slam-dunk to give the Wildcats their first double-digit lead at 41-30 with 18:36 left.
PRCC stayed on top, managing to pad its lead to 15 points three times the rest of the way, while a goal by Devontai Foye of Hattiesburg High in the final seconds gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the night at 87-71.           
            Xavion Dixon led SMCC with 16 points (four rebounds), while Corey Williams added 16 (three steals), Jaylen Moore 12, Chris Jones 10, Twymond Howard eight (eight rebounds), Deione Weeks seven, and Jamal Hester two.
            Hollimon paced PRCC with a game-high 22 points, including an eight-for-eight effort at the foul line (five rebounds), while Kaven Bernard out of Assumption High in Napoleonville, La., scored 18 (seven rebounds), Porter 13 (six rebounds, five assists), McGee 11 (eight rebounds), Southeastern Louisiana signee DeAngelo Coleman seven (nine assists, six rebounds), Foye six, Joshua Johnson out of Carroll High in Monroe, La., four, and Lester Crosby of Franklinton (La.) High (eight rebounds) and Louisiana-Monroe signee Rakeem Esco of Canton High, three each.
Pearl River hit an impressive 51.8 percent (29 of 56) from the field to Southwest’s dismal 31.9 percent (22 of 69) showing, while the Wildcats were one of nine (11.1 percent) from three-point range to the Bears’ three-of-18 (16.7 percent) effort. Both squads excelled at the foul line PRCC going 28 of 34 (82.7 percent) and SMCC 24 of 20 (80 percent), while The River dominated the boards with 49 rebounds (14 offensive, 35 defensive) to Southwest’s 31 (15 offensive, 16 defensive). The Wildcats were turnover prone with 22, while the Bears committed a mere eight.
Pearl River split with Southwest in previous South Division meetings played Jan. 16 in Summit with the Lady Wildcats taking a 73-72 overtime victory, while the Wildcats fell 73-69.
PRCC returns to the hard court when it hosts MACJC South Division foe Meridian Thursday at 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men) before traveling to division rival Jones County Monday for 5:30 p.m. (women) and 7:30 p.m. (men) games). The River wraps its regular season Thursday, Feb. 20, when it hosts division rival Copiah-Lincoln with game times at 5 and 7 p.m.
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MACJC South Division Women's & Men's Basketball Games
Played Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 @ Poplarville, MS
Pearl River 60, Southwest Miss. 56
First Half: 31-29 (SMCC)
Second Half: 31-25 (PRCC)
Southwest Miss. (15-5, 7-4): Katrina Littlepage 17 (6 RB), Fredrikah Wilson 13 (8 RB), April Levy 8 (4 RB), Madison Mault 6 (2 treys, 4 RB), Cortney Epting 5 (5 RB), Raven Reyes 4 (4 RB), Talisa Sherman 2, Tee Myers 1.
Pearl River (14-3, 9-2): Kalisha Washington 18 (2 treys), Deantra Darjean 14 (3 treys, 6 RB, 4 assists, 2 blocks), Shanta’ Echols 9 (8 RB, 2 blocks), Essence Pulliam 7 (6 RB), Tamesha Horne 5, Vamikka Smith 3 (7 RB), Taylor Brister 2 (7 assists), Tamera Williams 2.
FIELD GOALS: Pearl River – 21 of 55 (38.2%), Southwest – 16 of 67 (23.9%).
THREE POINTERS: Pearl River – 5 of 16 (31.3%), Southwest – 4 of 21 (19.0%).
FREE THROWS: Pearl River – 13 of 18 (72.2%), Southwest – 20 of 29 (69.0%).
REBOUNDS: Pearl River – 35 (9 offensive, 26 defensive), Southwest – 56 (29 offensive, 27 defensive).
TURNOVERS: Pearl River – 15, Southwest 18.
Pearl River 87, Southwest Miss. 71
First Half: 35-29 (PRCC)
Second Half: 52-42 (PRCC)
Southwest Miss. (12-8, 6-5): Xavion Dixon 16 (4 RB), Corey Williams 16 (3 steals), Jaylen Moore 12, Chris Jones 10, Twymond Howard 8 (8 RB), Deione Weeks 7, Jamal Hester 2.
Pearl River (14-5, 7-4): Jeremy Hollimon 22 (5 RB, 8 for 8 FT), Kaven Bernard 18 (7 RB), Quintarius Porter 13 (6 RB, 5 assists), Bryant McGee 11 (8 RB), DeAngelo Coleman 7 (9 assists, 6 RB), Devontai Foye 6, Joshua Johnson 4, Lester Crosby 3 (3 blocks), Rakeem Esco 3.
FIELD GOALS: Pearl River – 29 of 56 (51.8%), Southwest – 22 of 69 (31.9%).
THREE POINTERS: Pearl River – 1 of 9 (11.1%), Southwest – 3 of 18 (16.7%).
FREE THROWS: Pearl River – 28 of 34 (82.4%), Southwest – 24 of 30 (80.0%).
REBOUNDS: Pearl River – 49 (14 offensive, 35 defensive), Southwest – 31 (15 offensive, 16 defensive).
TURNOVERS: Pearl River – 22, Southwest 8.
NOTE: Pearl River split with Southwest Miss. in previous meetings played Jan. 16 in Summit. The Lady Wildcats were 73-72 winners, while the Wildcats were 73-69 losers.
UP NEXT: PRCC returns to the hard court when it hosts MACJC South Division foe Meridian Thursday at 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men) before traveling to division rival Jones County Monday for 5:30 p.m. (women) and 7:30 p.m. (men) games).

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