PERKINSTON Pearl River Community College men and women basketball squads split in MACJC South Division action here Thursday against Mississippi Gulf Coast. The ninth-ranked Wildcats, the reigning state champions, fell 82-77 for their first division loss of the season, while the Lady Wildcats shocked the host Lady Bulldogs 62-60. PRCC men dropped to 14-2 overall and 4-1 in division play, while its women are now 5-8 and 2-3. MGCCC men improved to 12-5 and 5-1, grabbing a half-game lead over the Wildcats for the South Division lead, while Gulf Coast women fell to 12-5 and 3-3. In the men game, Gulf Coast built a 14-6 lead in the first six minutes, but The River answered with an impressive 12-6 run to pull to within one. Over the next three minutes, the lead exchanged hands four times with the Bulldogs going up 25-23 off a trey by Marion Williams with 4:17 left before the break. Ten seconds later, Troy University signee Emil Jones of North Forrest High sank a pair of foul shots to knot things at 25-25, but MGCCC closed out the half with a 10-1 scoring surge to lead 35-26 at the intermission. The Bulldogs built their lead to as many as 14 points 54-40 off one of Raymond Cintron six three pointers with 11:35 left, but the Wildcats answered with a 15-4 run over the next four-plus minutes to pull to within three 58-55 at the 7:01 mark. Gulf Coast held Pearl River to a mere nine points over the next six minutes and built a double-digit lead at 65-64 with 1:30 left. With 45 seconds left, the Bulldogs led 76-66, but Pedro Maciel, a Centenary University transfer who prepped at St. Stanislaus, ended the Wildcats scoring by sinking three treys and a pair of free throws that cut MGCCC lead to 79-77 with five seconds left. Gulf Coast managed to sink three foul shots during the remaining time to take the five-point victory. Crawford finished with a team-high 25 points and game-high 15 rebounds, while blocking two shots, while Maciel hit a season-high 21 points, including five three pointers. He also had five assists. Jones scored 18 (10 rebounds, five assists), Daron Bell of Bay High five (five rebounds), Vincent Gable of Picayune High and Kentari Nettles (five rebounds, four assists), three each; and Marshun McGee out of Bailey Magnet High in Jackson two. Cintron paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 29 points (six treys, 10 assists), while Ice Asortse (seven rebounds), Jeffrey Simmons (five assists), and Marion Williams added 11 a piece; Justin Childs nine (five assists), LaKendrick Evans six, Jeremiah Dunnings four, and Francis Obumneme one. Pearl River hit 43.3 percent (26 of 60) from the field to Gulf Coast 56.5 percent (26 of 46), while the Wildcats were 10 of 26 (38.5 percent) from three-point range to the Bulldogs eight-of-12 (66.7 percent) effort. PRCC was 15 of 24 (62.5 percent) at the foul line, while MGCCC was 22 of 33 (66.7 percent). In the women game, the Lady Wildcats built a 13-5 lead midway in the first half, but the Lady Bulldogs answered with a 13-6 run over the ensuing six-plus minutes to pull to within one 19-18 with 4:05 left before the half. PRCC outscored MGCCC 8-7 during the remaining time and held on to a 27-26 edge at the intermission. Gulf Coast grabbed its only lead off the night when Brianna Blunt sank a pair of foul shots in the opening minute of the second half. Francheska Bowman out of Choctaw High in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., immediately answered with a basket to regain the lead. From that point, the score was tied five times. With things knotted at 60-60 with eight seconds left, Kenyatta Epps of Yazoo City High sank two free throws the propel the Lady Wildcats to the two-point victory. Epps led Pearl River with 15 points (five rebounds, three steals), while Branita Malone, another Choctaw High (Fla.) recruit, added 14 and hauled in a game-high 12 boards. Quentessa Bullock of East Marion High and Toy Johnson of Pascagoula High scored five each, Bowman (seven rebounds, four blocks), Charlene Green out of South Pike High in Magnolia, and Nicole Holder of Lumberton High (seven rebounds), four a piece; Shandell Peters of East Marion High three, and Eugena Fry out of Wingfield High in Jackson two. Blunt finished with a game-high 22 points (five rebounds) for Gulf Coast, while Deonica McCormick scored 18 (10 rebounds), Cara Beverin five, Delainna Lyons and Roxyali Munoz (four assists), four each; Tatyana Haywood three, and Nicole Edwards (six rebounds) and Sabria Wells, two each. Pearl River hit 37.1 percent (23 of 62) from the field to Gulf Coast 27.4 percent (17 of 62), while the Lady Wildcats were three of seven (42.9 percent) from three-point range to the Lady Bulldogs three-of-12 (25 percent) effort. PRCC was 13 of 20 (65 percent) at the foul line, while MGCCC was 23 of 35 (65.7 percent). The Lady Bulldogs out-rebounded the Lady Wildcats with 49 boards (20 offensive, 29 defensive) to 46 (15 offensive, 31 defensive). PRCC and MGCCC eye men and women Valentine Day rematches Monday, Feb. 14, in Shivers Gymnasium in Poplarville. Pearl River returns home to host South Division foe East Central Monday for games at 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men), then travels to division foe Copiah-Lincoln in Wesson Monday, Jan. 31, for contests at 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men).
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