River sweeps Southwest

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SUMMIT Pearl River Community College swept Southwest Mississippi in MACJC women and men South Division basketball action here Thursday with the Lady Wildcats taking a 58-47 victory and the Wildcat squad winning 73-69. The River also swept SMCC in previous meetings played Jan. 17 in Poplarville with the PRCC women pulling off a 69-48 win, while its men won 77-65. The Lady Wildcats improved to 12-6 overall and 5-3 in division play, while the Wildcats are now 10-8 and 6-2. Southwest women fell to 3-16 and 0-8, while its men dropped to 8-11 and 3-5. In the women contest, Pearl River held on to a commanding 37-20 lead at the halftime break before the Lady Bears bounced back with a 27-21 advantage in the second half only to come up 12 points shy of victory. Shanta Echols of Sumrall High paced the Lady Cats with 13 points and 13 boards, while Shana Ward, an East Central CC transfer from Carthage, added 12 (seven rebounds), Branita Malone out of Choctaw High in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., nine (eight rebounds); Samantha Gunn, a Canton resident who prepped at Velma Jackson High, eight (four rebounds, five assists); Daiquari Raine of Poplarville High six (seven rebounds), and Toy Johnson of Pascagoula High (five assists) and Chaquita McGee of Yazoo City High, five each. Lolecia Richardson out of Provine High in Jackson had four boards for PRCC. Shanekqua Bibbs led the Lady Bears with a game-high 16 points, while Shaniece Sheffield scored 14 (seven rebounds), Cassie Berry and Lacey Orr six each, Julencia Brown three (10 rebounds), and Casey Brumfield two (five rebounds). Alexis Avery had four rebounds for SMCC. Pearl River hit 47.3 percent (nine of 19) from the free throw line to Southwest Mississippi 81.8 percent (18 of 22), while the Lady Wildcats were 24 of 65 (36.9 percent) from the field to the Lady Bears 13-of-57 (22.8 percent) effort. From three-point range, PRCC was one of 12 (8.3 percent), while SMCC was three of 16 (18.8 percent). The River dominated the boards with 51 rebounds (18 offensive, 33 defensive) to Southwest 42 (14 offensive, 28 defensive), while Pearl River committed 16 turnovers to the hosts 15. In the men game, the two teams battled to a 30-30 stalemate at the intermission before Pearl River outscored Southwest 43-39 in the second half to take the four-point victory. Daron Bell of Bay High led the Wildcats with 20 points and 10 rebounds (three treys), while Josh Carpenter of Oak Grove High sank a career-high 16 (six rebounds, three assists), Zane Knowles, a Grambling State (La.) transfer from Nassau, Bahamas, 13 (nine rebounds); Yondarius Johnson, a Grambling transfer from Plain Dealing, La., seven; Mike Henry of Wayne County High six, Raheem England of Decatur (Ala.) High five (five rebounds), and Jeremy Moore out of Jim Hill High in Jackson, Derionne Stewart of Picayune High, and Quentin Watkins out of Lanier High in Jackson (five assists), two a piece. Mark Bridgewater paced the Bears with 19 points (three treys), while Wesley Blackmon added 17 (five rebounds), Josh Brannon (four rebounds) and Corey Lacy, 10 each; Mikel Henry five, Michael Hall and Lemichael Quin, three each; and Parker Moore two. Pearl River hit 69 percent (21 of 29) from the free throw line to Southwest Mississippi 57.1 percent (12 of 21), while the Wildcats were 24 of 57 (42.1 percent) from the field to the Bears 24-of-53 (45.3 percent) effort. From three-point range, PRCC was four of 11 (40 percent), while SMCC was nine of 29 (31 percent). The River dominated the boards with 41 rebounds (14 offensive, 27 defensive) to Southwest 26 (nine offensive, 16 defensive), while Pearl River committed 19 turnovers to SMCC 15. Pearl River hosts MACJC South Division rival Hinds in Shivers Gymnasium Monday for 5 p.m. (women) and 7 p.m. (men) games before traveling to division arch-rival Jones County Thursday, Feb. 16, for contests at 6 p.m. (women) and 8 p.m. (men). PRCC travels to Mississippi Gulf Coast Monday, Feb. 20, then wraps its regular season Thursday, Feb. 23, when it hosts East Central in Poplarville. The top four women and men finishers in the MACJC North and South divisions earn berths in the MACJC State Tournament set for Feb. 27 through March 1 at the home court of the North women champion.