MCC splits with Southwest Tenn.
By By Robbie Robertson/The Meridian Star
Meridian Community College women's basketball coach Hilary Allen figured that Southwest Tennessee was going to pound the ball inside to its 6-foot-8 post player.
He also figured he team was in better shape and could outrun the Saluqis.
He was right on both counts.
MCC used a fast-paced offensive attack as the Eagles wore down the visiting Saluqis and took a 92-81 victory in the Ivy Sports Center Saturday.
The Lady Eagles improve to 11-2 on the season and will travel to Jones County Junior College for a 3 p.m. contest Monday. Southwest falls to 4-4.
Allen said he knew from scouting Southwest that it would be a tough contest for his Lady Eagles as the Saluqis brought in 6-foot-8 post player Amie Williams.
Despite MCC's lack of size, the Lady Eagles held their own as Southwest was only able to claim a 43-42 advantage on the boards. But it was MCC's hot three-point shooting that made the difference as the Lady Eagles hit seven threes on the night.
Early in the first half, it appeared as if the game would go down to the wire as the lead went back and forth. Southwest led 14-9 at the 15:27 mark and 16-11 at the 15:00 mark.
MCC then went on a 13-5 run to take a 22-19 lead. After going ahead 30-23 on back-to-back threes from Teasha McFarland, Southwest cut the score to 30-27 on a Williams rebound and putback at the 8:00 mark.
Then Williams got her second foul of the half and sat out the rest of the half.
Meridian then reeled off a 14-3 run and led 44-28 at the 2:35 mark and led 48-37 at the half.
The Lady Eagles came out hot in the second and half and used two three-pointers and two three-point plays with McFarland's three at the 16:18 mark give MCC a 66-43 lead and capping off an 18-6 burst.
Southwest did manage to make it interested down the stretch when MCC's Angela Bullock went out with a dislocated shoulder.
With the tough play of Williams down low and the free throw shooting of Larisha Graves, the Lady Soluqis cut the score to 84-75 with 4:46 remaining.
But that was as close as STCC got as the Lady Eagles hit 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win.
Bullock scored a game-high 21 points for MCC while Catesha Riley added 20, Teasha McFarland 14 and Tommie Walden 13 while Tijwana Collins nine.
Williams had 19 points to go along with 14 rebounds and eight blocks. Graves also added 19 points while Torre Thomas had 18 points.
Southwest Tennessee men 92, MCC 86: Meridian's struggles continued despite outstanding performances from Sammie Cole and Rocky Lane who scored 26 and 24 points, respectively.
MCC falls to 3-9 while Southwest improves to 6-3.
Southwest's Marklus Ray scored the first eight points for the Saluqis but a three-point play and a slam by Marcus Doss gave MCC an early 14-10 lead with 13:57 left in the first half.
The Saluqis then got hot from the field as Herbert Lou Wright hit for eight straight points and Larry Wells' three at the 8:54 mark gave Southwest a 23-20 lead. MCC last led at the 4:52 mark at 28-27 on a Joey Wade bucket.
The Saluqis then eased out to a 39-32 halftime lead as Wayne Moody has a three-point play and a three-pointer.
MCC closed the gap to 76-75 with less than five minutes in the second half but two breakaway layups put Southwest up for good.
Lou Wright led Southwest with 20 points.
Robbie Robertson is sports editor for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.