POPLARVILLE – For the first 25 minutes of playing time Thursday night, Pearl River Community College played a near-perfect game. From that point on, nothing went right.
The Wildcats let a 34-point lead get away from them in the second half, as Southwest Mississippi roared back to hand PRCC an 81-77 setback in men’s basketball action at Summit.
Pearl River suffered its first loss of the season, after nine wins to start the season, and evened its South Division record at 1-1; Southwest improved to 10-1 and 1-1.
The Wildcats used an 11-2 run midway through the first half to take command, and led by as many as 30 points in the first half. PRCC took a 46-19 lead into intermission.
PRCC shot 52.6 (20 of 38) percent from the field and grabbed 28 rebounds in the first half, and opened the second half by hitting six of their first 10 shots, capped by a 3-pointer by freshman Cedric Brim Jr. (Tupelo) that gave the Wildcats a 60-26 lead with 14:46 to play.
But Pearl River was just 5 of 24 from the field the rest of the way, and committed 10 turnovers, while the Bears converted 28 of 42 shots from the field (66.7 percent) in the second half.
Freshmen Eric Thornton Jr. (Jackson) and Jonas James III each had 18 points to lead the Wildcats, and freshman Kirk Parker (Vicksburg) had 11 points and 10 rebounds for PRCC. Roydell Brown had 26 points to lead Southwest.
Pearl River travels to Ellisville on Tuesday for the first of two basketball Cat Fights against Jones County. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
PRCC BASKETBALL SUMMARY
Thursday at Summit
Southwest 81, Pearl River 77
PRCC 46 31 – 77
SMCC 19 62 – 81
PEARL RIVER (9-1, 1-1 in South): Jonas James III 18, Cedric Brim Jr. 9, Eric Thornton Jr. 18, Cameron Douglas 9, Jerrod Rigby 3, Willie Logan 3, Ray Anderson 3, Kirk Parker 11 (10 rebounds).
SOUTHWEST MISSISSIPPI (10-1, 1-1 in South): Jeremy Harrell 3, Charles Winston 2, John Knight 16, Antonio Cowart 21, Ricardo Lynch 6, Aleksa Dobrijevic 7, Roydell Brown 26.