Jones women, EMCC men take tight wins
By By Cassie Chance /Special to The Star
Nov. 13, 2001
SCOOBA Sandra Sumrall's Lady Bobcats from Jones County Junior College know how to make a comeback look impressive.
Jones made a trip to Scooba on Monday night to take on the Lady Lions of East Mississippi.
JCJC entered the game with a record of 0-1 after falling to Holmes in its season opener. The Lady Lions were looking to get their first win of the year, after dropping decisions to Meridian and Gulf Coast.
The Lady Bobcats found themselves down by 23 with less than nine minutes remaining in the game and rallied to take an 88-82 victory. It was the third straight loss for EMCC.
East Mississippi got on the board first when Katrina Barr hit a jumper just two minutes into the game.
EMCC then added 14 points to take an early 16-8 lead. Jones then rallied with key shots by Samantha Talbert and Andrea Austin to pull within one with just 2:41 left in the first half.
EMCC pulled away after a three pointer by Barr and took a 38-29 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
After the break, EMCC came out strong as Barr, Candace Spires, Kenyetta Moore and Dorecious Powe added to the growing Lady Lion lead.
With 9:50 on the clock, Jones used a timeout to regroup. After the timeout, the Lady Bobcats rallied.
McGill nailed two three-pointers within a minute of each other to spark the JCJC comeback.
With just five minutes still to go in the game, Jones had cut the EMCC lead from 23 to 11.
After a jump ball, Jones got a huge play when Austin hit a three pointer and was fouled. She sank the free shot to cut the Lady Lion lead to just eight. The Lady Bobcats called another timeout with just 3:16 remaining in the game, and after the break, Austin nailed another three.
JCJC then tied the game with 1:35 left on the clock when Thelma Cooper hit a jump shot.
East Mississippi was only able to add six points in the final minute, all of those coming off free shots.
McGill nailed another three pointer for JCJC with 1:20 left to put the Lady Bobcats up 79-77. EMCC was unable to come back to regain their lead, as Jones took the win, 88-82.
Barr lead East Mississippi (0-3) with 12 points. The Lady Lions travel to East Central on Thursday.
Cooper netted 18 for the Lady Bobcats (1-1). Austin contributed 17, while Talbert added 12 and McGill had 11.
Jones' next game will be November 19-20 when they compete in the East Central Classic.
The first two minutes prior to the East Mississippi Community College Lions home game against Jones Junior College was filled with silence.
The silence reflected the void that was evident in the Currie Coliseum on Monday night. It was the home opener for the Lions, yet more so, it was first time in six years that fans would not see Steve Hull on the bench.
Hull passed away on October 15, and last night his team made a showing that any coach, and especially Hull, would have been proud of.
Jones was coming of a 71-61 season opening win over Holmes, while the Lions were looking for a win.
In the end, East Mississippi fought off an aggressive Jones squad in overtime to take a slim 84-80 win.
EMCC head coach Clay Armstrong commended his team for their efforts.
East Mississippi began the game on 4-0 run as Charles Braxton and Reshard Alonza both hit jumpers.
However, Jones came back to take an 11-6 lead just five minutes into the game.
EMCC then answered back with a 10-0 run before McKinley Bethea scored for the Bobcats. Bethea added a three pointer, as did Phil Carter and Dale Williams to take a 30-28 lead with 4:44 remaining in the first half.
The Lions came on too strong, however, as they got key shots from Dennis Dupree and Ryan Rodriguez to regain the lead.
After a technical foul, East Mississippi went on an 8-0 run to take a 42-37 lead at the half.
After the intermission, the Lions picked up where they left off as they held the Bobcats to only five points in the first four minutes of the second half.
After a JCJC timeout, the Lions held off the Bobcats to extend their halftime lead to 58-48 with 11:56 to go in the game.
Jones picked up the pace with 9:18 left to make a charge and outscore East Mississippi 20-12 and cut the Lions lead down to 70-68 with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
With 1:24 left, Alonza hit a jumper, which was followed by Rashune Walters nailing two free throws at the other end for the Bobcats. Then, EMCCs Clem Celestine drained a crucial two-point shot with 45 seconds remaining to put the Lions up 74-72.
Jones called a timeout, and with 28 seconds left, Walters lay-up sent the game into overtime.
EMCC was the first to get on the board in overtime as the Lions took the opening tip and scored off a jumper by Rodriguez.
Jones had a chance to tie the game with 4:18 to go when Bethea was fouled. Bethea missed his second free throw shot, and East Mississippi capitalized on the rebound.
Rodriguez added another two points followed by Raphael Edwards and Alonza both nailing shots to put the Lions up 84-75 with 30 seconds remaining.
The Bobcats rallied by getting a three pointer from M.J. Johnson and a jumper from Lee Kilpatrick, but it wasn't enough as East Mississippi took the game by a final of 84-80.
EMCC was led by Edwards 21, while Alonza added 17. Bethea and Walters both scored 14 for the Bobcats. Johnson netted 12.
East Mississippi (0-3) travels to East Central on Thursday while Jones (2-0) will participate in the East Central Classic November 19-20.