River picks up pair of division home wins over East Central

            POPLARVILLE --- Pearl River Community College swept East Central in MACJC South Division women’s and men’s basketball action here Monday with the Lady Wildcats picking up a 67-58 victory and the Wildcats taking a 70-53 win.
            Both PRCC teams remain unbeaten in division play at 2-0, while its women improved to 4-1 overall and its men are undefeated at 9-0. ECCC’s women dropped to 4-5 and 0-2, while its men fell to 5-4 and 1-1.
            In the women’s game, Pearl River jumped out to an 8-1 lead at the 15:15 mark of the first half, but East Central held the Lady Wildcats scoreless for the next four minutes and rallied with an impressive 10-2 scoring run to take its first lead of the night at 11-10 with 7:42 left before the break.
            The next four minutes saw the score knotted three times before Tanihhiga Hughes banged in the three to put ECCC up 18-15. The Lady Wildcats answered with back-to-back baskets by Shanta’ Echols of Sumrall High to regain the lead at 19-18. The Lady Warriors managed to tie it up at 19-19 off a foul shot by Jalonda Jones, but Echols’ two and a trey by Deandra Darjean, a Prairie View A&M transfer who prepped at Yates High in Houston, Tex., in the final minute gave The River a 24-19 lead at the intermission.
            East Central kept it close in the opening minutes of the second half, but Pearl River gradually pulled away. Kalisha Washington out of Murrah High in Jackson sank a pair of free throws with 10:36 left to give the Lady Wildcats their first double-digit lead at 44-33 and eventually built their advantage to 15 points --- 57-42 --- when point guard Taylor Brister, an East Central transfer who prepped at Prentiss High, sank her only bucket of the contest with 6:13 left.
            Jones’ trey with 12 seconds left pulled the Lady Warriors to within seven, but Darjean closed out the game with a pair of foul shots to give the Lady ‘Cats the nine-point victory.
            Jones paced ECCC with 14 points (six rebounds, three assists), while Tynika Bender added 10 (four assists). Hughes (four rebounds) and Ty-Neisa Mickens (seven rebounds, five steals, three assists) scored nine each, Gryanna McClendon six (three assists), Shamyia Evans, Andreka Harper, and Haley Watkins, three a piece, and Whitney Williams one.
Echols led PRCC with 23 points and 13 boards --- both game and season-high totals --- and three steals, while Darjean scored 11 (nine rebounds, two blocks), including a six-for-six effort at the foul line. Washington added nine (four assists), Essence Pulliam out of Forest Hill High in Jackson eight (five rebounds, three steals), Kaci Sisson of Quitman High four (four rebounds), and Brister two.
            Pearl River hit 35.3 percent (24 of 68) from the field to East Central’s 33.3 percent (18 of 54). ECCC hit 46.3 percent (13 of 28) in the second half after managing a dismal 19.2 percent (five of 26) in the first, while PRCC hit a lackluster 25.7 percent (nine of 35) in the first, but rebounded with a 45.5 percent (15 of 33) effort in the second. The Lady Wildcats were one of 10 (10 percent) from three-point range to the Lady Warriors’ four-of-14 effort, while PRCC was 18 of 26 (69.2 percent) at the foul line to ECCC’s 17-of-29 (58.6 percent) showing.
The River dominated the boards with 56 rebounds (26 offensive, 30 defensive) to East Central’s 35 (13 offensive, 22 defensive), while each team had 31 turnovers.
            In the men’s game, East Central led in the opening minutes, but Troy State (Ala.) signee Jeremy Hollimon of Gulfport High banged in a trey with 17:23 left before the break to kick off a dominating 21-8 Wildcat run over the next 10 minutes to give PRCC a double-digit lead at 23-13.
            The Warriors answered with an 18-8 scoring surge to tie it up at 31-31 with 18 seconds left in the half, but Kaven Bernard out of Assumption High in Napoleonville, La., hit a three just before the buzzer to give The River a 33-31 edge at the intermission.
            It was all Wildcats in the second half. Pearl River regained a 10-point lead at the 13:46 mark and eventually pumped its advantage to 20 points twice in the final minutes.
            Quinton Campbell led East Central with 18 points (10 rebounds, three treys), Jacques Johnson 12 (four steals), Michael Matlock seven (seven rebounds), Terrance Mujahid (six rebounds) and Ramone Tate (four assists), six each, and Terry Carter four.
            Lester Crosby of Franklinton (La.) High paced the Wildcats with a game and career-high 20 points (10 rebounds, three blocks), while Bernard (10 rebounds, four blocks) and Irishma Bowie of Morton High (four rebounds, two treys) scored 12 each. Hollimon finished with nine (eight rebounds, two treys), Southeastern Louisiana signee DeAngelo Coleman of South Pike High seven (six assists), Quintarius Porter out of Forest Hill High in Jackson six (five rebounds, four blocks) six, Louisiana-Monroe signee Rakeem Esco of Canton High (three assists) and Bryant McGee of West Marion High, two each, and Devontai Foye of Hattiesburg High one (three assists).
            Pearl River hit 44.4 percent (24 of 54) from the field to East Central’s 30.8 percent (20 of 65), while the Wildcats were six of 17 (35.3 percent) from three-point range to the Warriors’ four-of-14 (28.6 percent) effort. At the foul line, PRCC was 16 of 24 (66.7 percent), while ECCC was nine of 19 (47.4 percent).
The River dominated the boards with 49 rebounds (11 offensive, 38 defensive) to East Central’s 38 (13 offensive, 25 defensive), while the Wildcats committed 18 turnovers to the Warriors’ 14.
PRCC's men wrapped their pre-Christmas holiday portion of their schedule with their ECCC win, while the Lady Wildcats host the Mississippi Hot Shots Friday at 6 p.m. and Keesler Air Force Base Saturday at 2 p.m. --- both in Shivers Gymnasium in Poplarville --- before taking the holiday break. Both teams open their post-Christmas holiday schedule Saturday, Jan. 4, against Delgado (La.) in New Orleans with 2 p.m. (women) and 4 p.m. (men) contests.
 
EAST CENTRAL @ PEARL RIVER
MACJC South Division Women's & Men's Basketball Games
Played Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 @ Poplarville, MS
 
WOMEN
Pearl River 67, East Central 58
First Half: 24-19 (PRCC)
Second Half: 43-39 (PRCC)
 
SCORERS
East Central (4-5, 0-2): Jalonda Jones 14 (6 RB, 3 assists), Tynika Bender 10 (4 assists), Tanihhija Hughes 9 (4 RB), Ty-Neisa Mickens 9 (7 RB, 5 steals, 3 assists), Gryanna McClendon 6 (3 assists), Shamyia Evans 3, Andreka Harper 3, Haley Watkins 3, Whitney Williams 1.
 
Pearl River (4-1, 2-0): Shanta’ Echols 23 (13 RB, 3 steals), Deandra Darjean 11 (9 RB, 2 blocks, 6 of 6 FT), Kalisha Washinton 9 (4 assists), Essence Pulliam 8 (5 RB, 3 steals), Kaci Sisson 6 (4 RB), Taylor Brister 2.
 
FIELD GOALS: Pearl River – 24 of 68 (35.3%), East Central – 18 of 54 (33.3%).
THREE POINTERS: Pearl River – 1 of 10 (10.0%), East Central – 5 of 21 (23.8 %).
FREE THROWS: Pearl River – 18 of 26 (69.2%), East Central – 17 of 19 (58.6%).
REBOUNDS: Pearl River – 56 (26 offensive, 30 defensive), East Central – 35 (13 offensive, 22 defensive).
TURNOVERS: Pearl River – 31, East Central – 31.
 
 
MEN
Pearl River 70, East Central 53
First Half: 33-31 (PRCC)
Second Half: 37-22 (PRCC)
 
SCORERS
East Central (5-4, 1-1): Quinton Campbell 18 (10 RB, 3 treys), Jacques Johnson 12 (4 steals), Michael Matlock 7 (7 RB), Terrance Mujahid 6 (6 RB), Ramone Tate 6 (4 assists), Terry Carter 4.
 
Pearl River (9-0, 2-0): Lester Crosby 20 (10 RB, 3 blocks), Kaven Bernard 12 (10 RB, 4 blocks, 6 of 8 FT), Irishma Bowie 12 (4 RB, 2 treys, 2 steals), Jeremy Hollimon 9 (8 RB, 2 treys), DeAngelo Coleman 7 (6 assists, 2 steals), Quintarius Porter 6 (5 RB, 4 blocks), Rakeem Esco 2 (3 assists), Bryant McGee 2, Devontai Foye 1 (3 assists).
 
FIELD GOALS: Pearl River – 24 of 54 (44.4%), East Central – 20 of 65 (30.8%).
THREE POINTERS: Pearl River – 6 of 17 (35.3%), East Central – 4 of 14 (28.6 %).
FREE THROWS: Pearl River – 16 of 24 (66.7%), East Central – 9 of 19 (47.4%).
REBOUNDS: Pearl River – 49 (11 offensive,38 defensive), East Central – 38 (13 offensive, 25 defensive).
TURNOVERS: Pearl River – 18, East Central – 14.
 
UP NEXT: PRCC's men wrapped their pre-Christmas holiday portion of their schedule with their ECCC win, while its women host the Mississippi Hot Shots Friday at 6 p.m. and Keesler Air Force Base Saturday at 2 p.m. --- both in Shivers Gymnasium in Poplarville --- before the holiday break. Both team’s open their post-Christmas holiday schedule Saturday, Jan. 4, against Delgado (La.) in New Orleans with 2 p.m. (women) and 4 p.m. (men) contests.

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