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MCC whips Alabama Southern

By By Fredie Carmichael Jr./The Meridian Star
Jan. 10, 2001
Coming into Tuesday's contest with Alabama Southern, the MCC men were sporting a 3-13 record.
But don't let the mark fool you, as the Eagles have fought through a grueling early-season schedule while trying to find some team chemistry.
Tuesday night, they not only got the chemistry, they also found the hot hand of former Meridian High standout Sammie Cole, Jr. Cole blazed the nets for 18 first half points, helping the Eagles to an easy 96-74 win.
As a whole, the team shot an impressive 60 percent from the field for the game and 54 percent from behind the3-point arc.
The first eight minutes of action saw nine lead changes with MCC taking it's first lead of 14-13 at the 13:31 mark on a jumper in the lane by Jay Ragan.
MCC seemed to get a comfortable lead as the Eagles went up 21-15 on a free throw by Eddie Epting. The Eagles from Alabama Southern fought back to tie it at 21 after six straight points in the lane by Phillip Harris with just under 10 minutes left before halftime.
MCC went ahead for good when Ragan, a transfer from Murray State, knifed through the lane and made a one-handed floater to put the host Eagles up 23-21. Cole hit his second 3-pointer of the night from NBA range four minutes later in a 16-4 run that had MCC holding a 37-25 lead.
The play of the game came at the five-minute mark of the first half when Joey Wade dished a no look pass to a cutting Marcus Doss who emphatically flushed a dunk home sending the fans into a frenzy. Not to be outdone, Derrick Houston gave MCC its largest lead of the first half when he crossed over an Alabama Southern defender and promptly dunked it home to put the Eagles up 51-29 with 3:15 left in the half.
MCC held a 57-43 halftime advantage and continued the to light it up from outside as Cedric Drake hit three 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the second half, helping MCC to a 70-54 edge. MCC outscored the Eagles from Alabama Southern 26-20 the rest of the way to claim the 96-74 victory.
The win brought some newly found confidence to the team Cole says has been coming on in the last few games.
Cole led all scorers with 21 points while Cedric Drake put in a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Jay Ragan and Anthony Lane had 12 each followed by Eddie Epting's 11 point outing. Kendrick Cleveland led the way for AL Southern with 17.
MCC will be back in action this Saturday as they face defending Region 23 champions, MS Gulf Coast at 2:00 in the Ivy Sports Center.