River splits with Delta

POPLARVILLE — Pearl River Community College split with Mississippi Delta in MACJC men’s and women’s non-division basketball action here Monday with the Wildcats taking a 71-57 victory, while the Lady Wildcats fell 59-55 for their third straight loss.

Through four games, PRCC’s men remain unbeaten at 4-0, while its women are 1-3. MDCC’s men dropped to 2-3, while its women are now 3-2.

In the men’s game, Delta led only once in the opening two minutes of the game when Anthony McDonald hit a three to put MDCC up 3-2, but Pearl River answered with a stunning 31-13 scoring run of the next 18-plus minutes to grab a 17-point lead — its largest of the first half — with 1:16 left before the break at 33-16.

The Wildcats took their first double-digit lead (27-16) at the 3:05 mark off a bucket by Devontai Foye of Hattiesburg High, then back-to-back treys by Xavian Rimmer, an Alcorn State transfer who prepped at Piney Woods School near Jackson and DeAngelo Coleman out of South Pike High in Magnolia pushed The River’s advantage to 17.

U.S. Air Force Academy transfer Daniel Grieves, who prepped at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, was fouled on a three-point attempt at the halftime buzzer and sank three foul shots to make it 36-20 at the intermission.

Pearl River snatched hits largest lead of the game — 38-20 — off the second half’s opening basket by DeMondre Harvey of Minden (La.) High, but Delta answered with seven unanswered points (five by James Evans) to pull within 11 with 17:55 left. The Wildcats responded with a 21-15 run to go up 59-42 — their largest lead of the second half — at the 6:42 mark.

Again, the Trojans swished seven unanswered points over the next minute-and-a-half to pull to within 10 (59-49), but Frank Snow, an Angelina (Tex.) JC transfer from Wellington, Fla., answered with a basket that kicked off a 12-8 Wildcat scoring run to end the game.

Evans paced the Trojans with 17 points (seven rebounds, three blocked shots), while Cement Crawford scored 12 (eight rebounds), Anthony McDonald 10 (six rebounds), Marquarius Boddie five (seven rebounds), Jaimiason Hadley, Johnny Rucker, and Nathaniel Watkins, four a piece; and Marcus Springer one.

Grieves’ 17 points and 13 boards were highs for the Wildcats, while the sophomore also boasted an eight-of-10 effort at the foul line. Rimmer added 13 (four assists, three treys, six rebounds), Harvey seven, Kaven Bernard out of Assumption High in Napoleonville, La., Coleman (two treys), and Snot (five rebounds), six a piece; Josh Carpenter of Oak Grove High five, Nick’Laus Warren out of Murrah High in Jackson four, and Foye, Rakeem Esco of Canton High, and Jeremy Hollimon of Gulfport High, two each.

Pearl River hit 62.5 percent (15 of 24) from the free throw line to Delta’s 57.7 percent (19 of 33), while the Wildcats were 25 of 57 (43.9 percent) from the field to the Trojans’ 18-of-55 (32.7 percent) effort. From three-point range, PRCC was six of 17 (35.3 percent), while MDCC was two of 12 (16.7 percent).

The River had the edge on the boards 44 rebounds (15 offensive, 29 defensive) to Delta’s 40 (16 offensive, 24 defensive), while the Wildcats committed 23 turnovers in the game to the Trojans’ 21.

In the women’s game, the Lady Trojans struck quickly, jumping out to a 10-2 lead in the opening four-and-a-half minutes and built their lead to 19-6 at the 10:25 mark of the first half. The Lady Wildcats never took the lead, but managed to put together an impressive 13-0 scoring run over the next three-plus minutes to tie it up 19-19 with 6:02 left in the half, as well as a 22-22 stalemate at the 2:32 mark.

From that point, Delta closed out the half with an 8-2 scoring surge to lead 30-24 at the intermission.

Pearl River kept it close in the second half, pulling to within one point twice. With MDCC up 46-38 with 9:20 left, Jeronda Beason of Poplarville high hit a basket to kick off a 9-2 Lady Wildcat run of the next three-plus minutes to cut the Lady Trojans’ lead to 48-47.

Delta followed with four unanswered points before Beason got two on a put back and Valescia Dixon of East Marion High hit a basket to make it 52-51 with 3:10 remaining before the Lady Trojans outscored the Lady Wildcats 9-4 the rest of the way to take the six-point victory.

Pearl River hit 63.6 percent (13 of 22) from the free throw line to Delta’s 66.7 percent (12 of 18), while the Lady Wildcats were 20 of 61 (32.8 percent) from the field to the Lady Trojans’ 23-of-53 (43.4 percent) effort. From three-point range, PRCC was one of six (16.7 percent), while MDCC was one of three (33.3 percent).

The River led on the boards 44 rebounds (20 offensive, 24 defensive) to Delta’s 35 (10 offensive, 25 defensive), while the Lady Wildcats committed 22 turnovers to the Lady Trojans’ 21.

Shanarika McCullum (nine rebounds, four assists) and Krystal Nailer (six of six field goals, four of four free throws, three steals) led MDCC with 17 points each; while Z’Hara Williams added 12 (seven rebounds), Shuntequa Lofton six, Suzzette Suggs three, and India Overstreet and Myiesha Stewart (eight rebounds), two each.

Daiquari Raine of Poplarville High paced The River with 17 points (nine rebounds, four assists), while Dixon added 10 and had a game-high 10 boards. Chaquita McGee of Yazoo City High scored eight (four assists), Kalisha Washington out of Murrah High in Jackson seven (eight rebounds, five steals), Francheska Bowman out of Choctaw High in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., and Lolecia Richardson out of Provine High in Jackson (five rebounds), four each; Beason three (three assists), and Wisdom James of Durant High two.

Pearl River and Delta eye rematches when the Trojan squads play host Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in Moorhead at 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men).

The River returns to action when it hits the road for MACJC non-division foe Holmes in Goodman Thursday for contests at 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men) before traveling to Baton Rouge CC in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, Nov. 26, for women’s and men’s battles at the same game times.

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