MCC splits with Lawson St.
DRIVING TO THE BASKET nMeridian Community College's Teasha McFarland (24) attempts to dribble around Lawson State's Diantoinette Wilson (15) on her way to the basket Thursday. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Dec. 1, 2000
It was "Toys for Tots" night at Meridian Community College Thursday night.
But the only thing the host Eagles and Lady Eagles wanted to give visiting Lawson (Ala.) State Community College was a hard time.
MCC's women punished the Lady Cougars 81-64, while the MCC men gave a highly-touted Lawson State team all it wanted before finally falling, 78-74 at the Ivy Sports Center.
The Lady Eagles are now 7-2 on the season, while the Eagles are 2-7. MCC's women will participate in the Delgado Tournament in New Orleans, La., today and Saturday, while the Eagles' next action is Saturday at home against Southern Union.
Lawson State 78, MCC men 74: The end result wasn't a victory, but Meridian Community College head coach George Brooks had to be pleased with his team's performance Thursday.
Including the MCC freshmen especially those from Lauderdale County. Just a few days after former Meridian High standout Sammie Cole led the Eagles in scoring, Robert Ivy of Northeast Lauderdale held team-high honors Thursday.
After a slow start Thursday, MCC gave Lawson a rough time. The Cougars started the game on a 13-4 run that forced Brooks into a timeout, but the Eagles responded with nine unanswered points and the seesaw battle was on.
There were 10 ties and 16 lead changes in the contest, as MCC stayed with Lawson despite foul trouble from both of its big men Anthony Lane and Eddie Epting who both eventually fouled out.
But the Eagles rode the hot hand of Houston down the stretch in the first half, as the former Wildcat hit four consecutive shots three of them three-pointers to help put MCC ahead 36-35 at halftime.
It was the long ball that gave Lawson the edge in the second half, however, as the Cougars connected from three-point land on four consecutive possessions. The result was a 12-3 run, putting Lawson up 56-48 on a three by Rodondo Carrol with 12:59 left.
The eight-point lead was as big as Lawson could manage, however. Meridian tied it again at 61-61 with 8:21 left on a three by Ivy, and the Eagles were tied with the Cougars at 70-70 with 2:11 remaining after another basket by Ivy.
The final tie of the contest came with 1:37 left on a pair of free throws by MCC's Jay Ragan. Lawson answered with a bucket by Tim Madden to re-take the lead, and the Cougars never trailed again.
After an MCC turnover and a free throw by Lawson's Cornelius Richardson, the Eagles got within 75-74 on a Wade basket with 35 seconds remaining. But Richardson hit both of his freebies with 17.3 ticks left and after a potential game-tying three missed for MCC Jonathan Harrell put the final nail in the coffin with a single free throw with 4.9 seconds showing.
Ivy finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals to lead MCC, while Houston had 16 points, eight rebounds and a pair of assists.
Wade scored eight points, Lane had nine points and eight rebounds, Kevin Nelson had seven points and a pair of steals, Epting grabbed seven boards, Marcus Doss had six rebounds and Jay Ragan and Cedric Drake handed out three assists apiece.
Dion Simpson scored a game-high 21 points and added six rebounds and three steals to lead Lawson State. Carroll added 16 points, Richardson scored 13 and Danny Jones had 12.
MCC women 81, Lawson State 64: This contest wasn't nearly as close as the final score, as the Lady Eagles used an impressive first-half run to take command.
A three-pointer from Ashley Thurman sparked a 12-2 run by the Lady Eagles midway through the first half that gave MCC a 20-10 advantage. But after a three-pointer from Lawson's April Newton stopped the streak, MCC really went to work.
The Lady Eagles scored the next 18 points getting three offensive putbacks and another three-pointer from former Meridian High standout Tijwana Collins. When the run was finally through, MCC held a 38-13 advantage on its way to a 51-25 lead at halftime.
Newton finished with a game-high 19 points and Candice Witherspoon scored 11 to lead Lawson State, which fell to 2-5.
Meridian used a balanced scoring attack to move to 7-2, getting 13 points from Ashley Thurman and 12 apiece from Collins and Angela Bullock. Felicia Washington and Tommie Walden were also in double figures with 10 points apiece, and former West Lauderdale standout Eva Lockhart chipped in eight points.