POPLARVILLE The nationally-ranked Pearl River Wildcats remain unbeaten after taking a hard-fought 81-76 victory over MACJC non-division rival Mississippi Delta here Monday, while the Lady Wildcat squad picked up their first win of the season over the winless Lady Trojans 68-58. PRCC men, ranked No. 25 in the NJCAA preseason poll, improved to 5-0 with the win; while the Trojans dropped to 4-1. PRCC women, on the other hand, are now 1-2; while MDCC is 0-5. In the men game, the score was tied a total of 10 times four in the first half and six in the second while the lead exchanged hands three times in the opening half and twice in the second. Delta took its first lead of the night when Michael Willis hit a bucket to snap an 8-8 stalemate two minutes into the game, but Pearl River answered when Phillip Crawford out of Murphy High in Mobile, Ala., hit a bucket to cap a 6-3 run and put the Wildcats back in the lead at 14-13 at the 13:30 mark of the first half. PRCC pumped its lead to eight 23-15 five minutes late off a trey by Calvin Johnson of Ridgeland High before the Trojans retaliated with a 9-3 scoring surge to tie it up at 26-26 at the 5:40 mark. Anthony Evans capped the run with one of his six three pointers on the night. The lead exchanged hand twice over the next minute and was tied at 28-28 with 4:59 left in the half before Delta went on a 5-3 run to take a 33-31 edge at the intermission. After the break, point guard Pedro Maciel, a sophomore transfer from Centenary University (La.) who prepped at St. Stanislaus, hit his only basket of the game to snap a 37-37 tie five minutes in that kicked off a 10-3 Wildcat scoring surge to push The River lead to 47-40 its largest of the second half. The Trojans bounced back to tie it up four times during the remaining time and took a 67-66 lead with 3:35 left off a Anthony Evans trey. Daron Bell of Bay High hit a three pointer with 3:01 remaining to snap a 69-69 stalemate to give The River the lead for good. Delta managed to cut the Wildcats lead to one point twice during the remaining time. Evans paced the Trojans with 21 points (six treys), while Willis added 18 (eight rebounds, eight of 10 field goal attempts), Jarvis Moore 11 (12 assists, three steals), Miles Mayfield 10, Jamar Harris six, Jestonia Kimber five, Demario Calvin four, and Curtis Stuckey one. For The River, Crawford led the way with a game-high 25 points (eight rebounds, five-for-five free throw effort), while Bell (four treys) and Emil Jones of North Forrest High (10 rebounds) scored 19 each. LaKendrick Maye of Prentiss High added four, Vincent Gable of Picayune High, Johnson, Nick Magee of East Marion High, and Marshun McGee out of Bailey High in Jackson, three a piece; and Maciel two (11 assists). Delta hit 50.9 percent (27 of 53) from the field to Pearl River 50.8 percent (30 of 59), while the Trojans were 11 of 22 (50 percent) from three-point range to the Wildcats eight-of-17 (47.1 percent) effort. MDCC was 11 of 17 (64.7 percent) at the foul line, while PRCC was 13 of 19 (68.4 percent). The River led the rebounding battle with 34 (nine offensive, 25 defensively) to Delta 28 (five offensive, 23 defensive); while the Wildcats committed 12 turnovers in the game to the Trojans 15. In the women game, the Lady Wildcats held the Lady Trojans scoreless for the first 8:30 of the first half and built a 15-0 lead. Jamiesha Simpson finally got Delta on the scoreboard at the 11:30 mark and her bucket kicked off an 18-15 MDCC run to cut Pearl River lead to 30-18 at the intermission. The Lady Trojans managed to pull to within five 38-33 with 13:45 left, but that was as close as they would get. The Lady Wildcats managed to rebuild their lead to 14 three more times in the second half and held on to a 13-point lead in the final seconds before Autumn Jones hit a trey for the final points of the game. Calmette Greyer led Mississippi Delta with a game-high 17 points, while Jones added eight (three assists, two treys), Termerica Hunt six (five rebounds), Deshaundra Eatmon, Simpson, and Dominique Walker, five a piece; Jocelyn Jordan and Keisha King (three steals), four each; and Jamiya Boddie and Anissa Wilder, two each. Alayna Bridges of Oak Grove High paced Pearl River with 11 points, while Kenyatta Epps of Yazoo City High added 10, Eugena Fry out of Wingfield High in Jackson nine (three steals, three assists), Nicole Holder of Lumberton High eight (seven rebounds, four assists), Francheska Bowman out of Choctaw High in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (four blocked shots), Toy Johnson of Pascagoula High, and Kristian Lyons of Bay High, six a piece; Quentessa Bullock of East Marion High and Branita Malone (six rebounds), another Choctaw High recruit, four each; and Samantha Gunn out of Velma Jackson High in Canton and Shandell Peters of East Marion High, two each. Delta hit 40.8 percent (20 of 49) from the field to Pearl River 42.9 percent (21 of 49), while the Lady Trojans were three of 11 (27.3 percent) from three-point range to the Lady Wildcats two-of-eight (25 percent) effort. MDCC was 15 of 28 (53.6 percent) at the foul line, while PRCC was 24 of 30 (80 percent). Pearl River out-rebounded Mississippi Delta 40 (12 offensive, 28 defensive) to 28 (9 offensive, 19 defensive), while PRCC committed 17 turnovers to MDCC 20. Pearl River travels to Holmes at Goodman Thursday for 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men) MACJC non-division contests, then the Wildcats host the Loyola University junior varsity squad at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis.
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