MCC women avenge loss; Gulf Coast clips Eagles

By By Fredie Carmichael, Jr./Special to The Star
Jan. 14, 2001
Fans at Meridian Community College's Ivy Sports Center got to see the MCC Lady Eagles (13-3) avenge an earlier loss to Bishop State in a convincing 90-57 victory here Saturday afternoon. But the MCC men weren't as fortunate as they dropped a 73-63 decision to defending Region 23 champion Gulf Coast Community College.
Two months ago, the Lady Eagles lost 69-54 at Bishop State despite having led by 11 points at one time. MCC led by 15 at the break in the rematch, and outscored Bishop St. 46-28 in the second half to hold on to the victory.
MCC's Tommie Walden, a St. Louis University signee, got the Lady Eagles off and running as she connected on two long range three's that helped MCC out to an early 11-4 advantage in the first five minutes of play. But Bishop State would claw back as they used key rebounding to go on a 12-5 run that tied it up at 20-20 with 8:23 left in the half.
The Eagles would take control from there as Walden scored 15 of her 20 first half points in a 22-5 MCC run. Walden added two three-point bombs in that stretch run and ended the half on a nifty behind the back move that shook off the Bishop defender as she laid it in to put the Lady Eagles up 44-29 at halftime.
MCC went on a ferocious tear midway through the second half to put the nail in the coffin. The Lady Eagles went up 71-43 from the free-throw line after a technical foul on the Lady Wildcat's coach with 8:44 to play in the game. On the play that prompted the technical foul, MCC's Angela Bullock was fouled hard by Yolanda Hayward. As the two players exchanged looks, a frustrated Bishop State head coach Elston Turner exchanged words with the official, and was the technical foul followed.
That sequence of events seemed to end any hope that Bishop State had to get back into the ballgame and MCC did a nice job of putting the game away en-route to claiming their 13th victory of the season by a final of 90-57.
MCC was led in scoring by Walden who had a game-high 26 points to go along with six steals and five rebounds. Bullock contributed with 15 points, seven boards and five steals, while former Meridian High stand-out Tijwana Collins chipped in with 13 and Catesha Riley with 10.
Yolanda Hayward used 7 of 10 shooting from the free-throw line to lead the Lady Wildcats (7-6) with 17 followed by Renea Jones with 13.
Gulf Coast men 73, MCC 63: The MCC men were looking for another home victory on Saturday to keep some momentum going with the first division game being just a week away. But the Eagles couldn't get consistent play in the paint to compete with the visiting Bulldogs from Gulf Coast.
After an early fast break dunk by Marcus Doss that tied it 4-4 just three minutes in to the game, MCC seemed to be ready for the 11-3 Bulldogs. The Bulldogs would get four straight points in the post to lead 8-4 before the Eagles sharp-shooter Sammie Cole calmly knocked down a trey to cut the lead to 8-7 with 15:26 left before half-time.
Rocky Lane scored six straight and the Eagles trailed by 21-18 and seemed to be primed to make a charge with 6:12 left in the half. But Gulf Coast would end the half strong off the hands of Freeman Taylor and they took a 38-25 lead into the locker-room.
The Eagles came out of the gates hot in the second half as Doss's three-point shot put MCC up 38-37 at the 16:52 mark of the second half. That 10-0 run would be the last gasp for MCC though, as the Eagles were unable to stop Taylor as he seemed to take over the game and the Bulldogs walked away with the 73-63 victory.
MCC was led in scoring by Doss's 24, followed by Cole and Lane with 14 each. Gulf Coast's Taylor ended the game with game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds.