UTICA Pearl River Community College 11th-ranked Wildcats took sole possession of first place in the MACJC South Division basketball derby here Monday with a 67-56 victory over Hinds. The Lady Wildcats, on the other hand, kept their post-season playoff hopes alive with a convincing 69-51 victory over the Lady Bulldogs. PRCC men improved to 18-2 overall and 8-1 in division play and unseated rival Mississippi Gulf Coast for the division top spot in lieu of the Bulldogs 63-62 loss to Copiah-Lincoln Monday in Perkinston. MGCCC men, who handed the Wildcats their only division loss of the year (82-77) Jan. 20 in Perkinston, dropped to 8-2 in division play with Monday loss to Co-Lin. PRCC women are now 8-9 and 5-4 with three games remaining in the regular season all against South Division foes before Feb. 21-24''s MACJC State Tournament to be played at the home court of the South women champion. The tournament will be comprised of the top four men and women finishers in the North and South divisions. The 10th-ranked Copiah-Lincoln women, currently 18-1 overall and perfect at 10-0 in division play, have a solid hold on first place in the South and have two division dates remaining against East Central and Jones County. The Pearl River women win over Hinds solidified their post-season cause, as the Lady Wildcats are in fourth place in the division with playing dates against Jones County, Mississippi Gulf Coast, and East Central looming to end the regular season. Both Hinds squads dropped to 5-15 and 1-9. In the men game, the Wildcats led by a lopsided 42-26 margin at the break before the Bulldogs outscored their likes 30-25 in the second half only to come up 12 points shy of victory. Troy University signee Emil Jones of North Forrest High paced PRCC with a game-high 25 points (five rebounds), while Phillip Crawford out of Murphy High in Mobile, Ala., added 14 (six rebounds), LaKendrick Maye of Prentiss High nine, Kentari Nettles out of LeFlore High in Mobile eight, Daron Bell of Bay High seven, and Vincent Gable of Picayune High and Pedro Maciel, a Centenary University transfer who prepped at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, two each. Trevis Thomas led Hinds with 14 points and a game-high 11 boards, while Erik Burks scored 14 (three treys), Derek Burks seven, Howard Greer six, Ruscell Williams five, Obarcus Taylor three, and Delonte Dean, Tim Lindsey, and Adam Smith, two a piece. Pearl River hit 46 percent (23 of 50) from the field to Hinds 44.2 percent (23 of 52), while the Wildcats were four of 10 (40 percent) from three-point range to the Bulldogs seven-of-19 (36.8 percent) effort. PRCC was 17 of 23 (73.9 percent) at the foul line, while HCC was three of 12 (25 percent). Hinds won the rebounding battle with 34 (16 offensive, 19 defensive) to Pearl River 31 (13 offensive, 18 defensive). Monday contest marked the second meeting of the two teams this season with The River taking a 73-63 victory Jan. 13 in Poplarville. In the women game, the two teams battled to a 31-31 stalemate at the intermission, but the Lady Wildcats dominated the second half with a 38-20 effort to take the 18-point victory. Kenyatta Epps of Yazoo City High paced the Lady Wildcats with 19 points (six rebounds), while Francheska Bowman out of Choctaw High in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., added 16 and hauled in 10 boards. Branita Malone, another Choctaw High (Fla.) recruit, scored 13 (10 rebounds), Alayna Bridges of Oak Grove High six (seven rebounds), Quentessa Bullock of East Marion High and Toy Johnson of Pascagoula High (seven rebounds), four each; Charlene Green out of South Pike High in Magnolia three, and Eugena Fry out of Wingfield High in Jackson and Shandell Peters of East Marion High, two each. Lashondra Dunson led the Lady Bulldogs with 13 points, while Sharalyn McClain added 10 (five rebounds), Kenya Wright nine, Raven Hubbard five, Kenosha Graham and Carmen Smith (five rebounds), four each; and Kemeikia Bullock, Crystal Brown, and Jimeriam Jackson, two a piece. Pearl River hit 43.1 percent (25 of 58) from the field to Hinds 36.7 percent (18 of 49), while the Lady Wildcats were three of seven (42.6 percent) from three-point range to the Lady Bulldogs four-of-14 (28.6 percent) effort. PRCC was 16 of 27 (59.3 percent) at the foul line, while HCC was 11 of 18 (61.1 percent). The Lady Wildcats out-rebounded the Lady Bulldogs 50-25. Monday contest marked the second meeting of the two teams this season with Pearl River taking a 72-60 decision Jan. 13 in Poplarville. Pearl River returns to action Thursday when it hosts South Division rival Jones County at 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men) game times before division foe Mississippi Gulf Coast visits Monday, Feb. 14, at the same game times. PRCC will wrap its 2010-2011 regular season with a road trip to East Central in Decatur Thursday, Feb. 17, for division match ups at 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men).
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