River splits with Co-Lin to wrap regular season

            POPLARVILLE --- Pearl River Community College wrapped its women’s and men’s regular season basketball schedule here Thursday with an MACJC South Division split with Copiah-Lincoln.
            PRCC’s women fell 63-48 to the Lady Wolves, while its men pulled off a 71-68 victory. Both River squads had already clinched berths in Feb. 24-27’s MACJC State Tournament at Itawamba CC in Fulton.
            The Lady Wildcats wrapped the regular season at 15-5 overall and 10-4 in division play, while the Wildcats finished at 16-6 and 9-5. CLCC’s women are 16-7 and 9-5, while its men are 9-14 and 5-9.
            The women’s game saw seven lead changes and four deadlocks in the first half. Kalisha Washington out of Murrah High in Jackson pulled off a three-point play with 4:36 left before the break to knot things at 24-24, but Jessica Wilson immediately answered with a basket to give the Lady Wolfpack the lead for good. Co-Lin led 30-25 at the intermission.
            CLCC opened the second half with an 11-5 scoring run to pump its lead to 41-20 with 13:03 left. PRCC fought back to cut the deficit to five points twice over the next eight minutes. Shanta’ Echols of Sumrall High sank a pair of free throws with 5:16 remaining to cut the Lady Wolves’ lead to 48-43, but Claresa Banks ensuing foul shot kicked off a 15-5 Co-Lin run the rest of the way.
Ashley Minor sank four free throws and Tyra Gibson two in the final minute to cap the drive and give the Lady Wolfpack their biggest lead of the game.
            Minor led CLCC with 18 points (eight rebounds, three steals), while Wilson added 10 (10 rebounds, Gibson nine (five rebounds, four assists), Banks (nine rebounds, two blocks, three steals) and Keyana Miller (five steals), six each, Keke Coulins and Tyrisha Patterson (five rebounds), five each, and Caroline Lumpkin four (four rebounds).
            Echols paced The River with a game-high 19 points (12 rebounds), while Deantra Darjean, a Prairie View A&M transfer out of Yates High in Houston, Tex., scored 10 (five rebounds, six assists), Washington seven, Kendra Hall of Poplarville High five, Taylor Brister, an East Central CC transfer out of Lawrence County High, Essence Pulliam out of Forest Hill High in Jackson (six rebounds), and Vamikka Smith out of Murphy High in Mobile, Ala. (eight rebounds, two blocks), two apiece, and Tamesha Horne of Taylorsville High one.
Pearl River hit a dismal 27.3 percent (15 of 55) from the field to Copiah-Lincoln’s 31.7 percent (20 of 63), while the Lady Wildcats were two of 15 (13.3 percent) from three-point range to the Lady Wolfpack’s three-of-16 (18.8 percent) effort. At the foul line, PRCC was 16 of 31 (51.6 percent), while CLCC was 20 of 34 (58.8 percent).
Co-Lin dominated the boards with 53 rebounds (18 offensive, 35 defensive) to The River’s 45 (14 offensive, 31 defensive), while the Lady Wildcats committed 23 turnovers to the Lady Wolves’ 19.
In the men’s game, the Wolfpack, which sported a six-man roster after numerous dismissals two weeks ago due to disciplinary issues, gave the Wildcats all they could handle.
Co-Lin led for practically the entire first half until Quintarius Porter, a Southwest Mississippi CC transfer out of Forest Hill High in Jackson, nailed a three with 1:25 left before the break to put The River up 34-32. The Wolves immediately tied it up via a pair of foul shots by Michael Vardaman, but Sullivan Bell of Picayune High answered with a three-point play to put PRCC up by three. Corey Cox sank a free throw with 13.1 seconds left to cut Pearl River’s lead to 36-35 at the intermission.
The Wolfpack never regained the lead, but kept it close. After the Wildcats opened the second half with a 15-6 run to pump its lead to 52-41 --- its largest of the game --- Co-Lin answered with a 17-9 scoring surge over the next six plus minutes to pull to within three at 61-58 with 5:19 left.
LaJustin Anderson capped the comeback run with a three-point play and hit a basket at the 4:23 mark to cut The River’s lead to 63-60, but that was as close as the Wolves would get.
Pearl River hit 50 percent (27 of 54) from the field to Copiah-Lincoln’s 44 percent (22 of 50) showing, while the Wildcats were two of 12 (16.7 percent) from three-point range to the Wolfpack’s nine-of-24 (37.5 percent) effort. At the foul line, PRCC was 15 of 23 (65.2 percent), while CLCC was 15 of 19 (78.9 percent). The River led on the boards with 36 rebounds (10 offensive, 26 defensive) to Co-Lin’s 29 (seven offensive, 22 defensive), while both teams committed 20 turnovers each in the contest.
PRCC split with Copiah-Lincoln in previous meetings played Jan. 27 in Wesson with the Lady Wildcats losing 78-69, while the Wildcats were 70-56 winners.
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MACJC South Division Women's & Men's Basketball Games
Played Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 @ Poplarville, MS
Copiah-Lincoln 63, Pearl River 48
First Half: 30-25 (CLCC)
Second Half: 33-23 (CLCC)
Copiah-Lincoln (16-7, 9-5): Ashley Minor 18 (8 RB, 3 steals), Jessica Wilson 10 (10 RB), Tyra Gibson 9 (5 RB, 4 assists), Claresa Banks 6 (9 RB, 2 blocks, 3 steals, 3 assists), Keyana Miller 6 (5 steals), Keke Couins 5, Tyrisha Patterson 5 (5 RB), Caroline Lumpkin 4 (4 RB).
Pearl River (15-5, 10-4): Shanta’ Echols 19 (12 RB), Deantra Darjean 10 (5 RB, 6 assists), Kalisha Washington 7, Kendra Hall 5, Taylor Brister 2, Essence Pulliam 2 (6 RB), Vamikka Smith 2 (8 RB, 2 blocks), Tamesha Horne 1.
FIELD GOALS: Pearl River – 15 of 55 (27.3%), Co-Lin – 20 of 63 (31.7%).
THREE POINTERS: Pearl River – 2 of 15 (13.3%), Co-Lin – 3 of 16 (18.8%).
FREE THROWS: Pearl River – 16 of 31 (51.6%), Co-Lin – 20 of 34 (58.8%).
REBOUNDS: Pearl River – 45 (14 offensive, 31 defensive), Co-Lin – 53 (18 offensive, 35 defensive).
TURNOVERS: Pearl River – 23, Co-Lin 19.
Pearl River 71, Copiah-Lincoln 68
First Half: 37-35 (PRCC)
Second Half: 34-33 (PRCC)
Copiah-Lincoln (9-14, 5-9): Michael Vardamen 18 (3 treys, 3 assists), LeJustin Anderson 16 (3 treys), Terry Morris 15 (2 treys, 7 assists), Terrance James 13 (9 RB), Corey Cox 4 (4 RB, 3 steals), Lorenzo Deans 2 (4 RB).
Pearl River (16-6, 9-5): Kaven Bernard 20 (9 RB, 2 blocks), Sullivan Bell 13 (5 RB), Jeremy Hollimon 12 (5 RB, 6 assists, 4 steals), Bryant McGee 12 (3 steals), DeAngelo Coleman 6 (5 assists), Quintarius Porter 4 (5 RB), Irishma Bowie 2, Joshua Johnson 3.
FIELD GOALS: Pearl River – 27 of 54 (50.0%), Co-Lin – 22 of 50 (44.0%).
THREE POINTERS: Pearl River – 2 of 12 (16.7%), Co-Lin – 9 of 24 (37.5%).
FREE THROWS: Pearl River – 15 of 23 (65.2%), Co-Lin – 15 of 19 (78.9%).
REBOUNDS: Pearl River – 36 (10 offensive, 26 defensive), Co-Lin – 29 (7 offensive, 22 defensive).
TURNOVERS: Pearl River – 20, Co-Lin 20.
NOTE: Pearl River split with Copiah-Lincoln in previous meetings played Jan. 27 in Wesson. The Lady Wildcats were 78-69 losers, while the Wildcats were 70-56 winners.
UP NEXT: Both Pearl River squads enter the MACJC State Tournament set for Monday through Thursday at North Division men's champ Itawamba (games, times to be announced).

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