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MCC women whip Delgado to wrap up conference

By By Fredie Carmichael/Special to The Star
FEB. 22, 2001
The Meridian Community College Lady Eagles secured a spot in the 2001 Region 23 basketball tournament Wednesday night thanks to an 82-71 victory over Delgado. The 24-4 Lady Eagles are a perfect 7-0 in Miss-Lou conference games.
The MCC men weren't as fortunate as they watched their postseason hopes go down the drain thanks to a disappointing 99-86 loss to Delgado.
MCC women 82, Delgado 71: In the past few games, MCC head coach Hilary Allen hasn't been pleased with his team's play because of inconsistent play in the paint and ill-advised turnovers. MCC got one of those problems solved on Wednesday night as the Lady Eagles' Erika Starks scored a season-high 16 points down low and helped MCC to the conference-clinching win.
MCC's Angela Bullock gave the Lady Eagles the early 13-6 lead when she picked up a loose ball and made a breath-taking full court pass to Teasha McFarland for an easy layup.
The Lady Eagles suffered through a four-minute scoring drought midway through the first half as Delgado tied the game at 15-15 with 10:45 to play on a Candice Burnett baseline jumper.
The Lady Dolphins took the lead at 23-22 at the 8:08 mark on a powerful Burnett bucket down low. The lead swapped hands three more times in the next four minutes as former Meridian High standout Tijwana Collins busted a 3 to give MCC a 30-29 lead with 4:18 left in the half.
MCC stretched the lead to four on a vigorous Starks putback before Delgado used a 4-0 run of its own to tie it 35-35 at the break.
Burnett drilled some long-range jumpers to start the second half and the Lady Dolphins took a 46-44 lead with 13:43 to go in the game. Delgado went up by as much as five at the 10:08 mark before Bullock and the Lady Eagle hit their routine late stride.
Allen has said all season that his team doesn't have a star player, but Bullock has been making a strong case in the last few games for that title. Bullock once again took over for MCC as she scored 13 of the Lady Eagles next 17 points in the midst of a 17-5 run. Her three with 6:50 to play knotted it at 59-59 and was a huge momentum building shot.
Bullock wasn't about to let MCC lose this one as she nailed a tough jump-shot in the lane, was fouled, and made the free throw to give the Lady Eagles a lead that they never relinquished with 5:10 left in the game.
MCC was led in scoring by Walden's 20, followed by Starks with 16. Bullock hit for 15 and Catesha Riley added 12. Burnett's game-high 26 paced Delgado.
MCC will close out Miss-Lou conference play on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Southern Shreveport at the Ivy Sports Center.
Delgado men 99, MCC 86: Facing a must win situation to stay alive for post-season play, the Eagles folded at the hands of Delgado on Wednesday night 99-86.
MCC gave the Dolphins too many easy buckets in transition by failing to get back on defense and Delgado made the Eagles pay by converting its opportunities.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 5-2 lead after a triple from Cedric Drake and a hanging one-hander by Jay Ragan. Moments later MCC's Marcus Doss took a pass from Anthony Lane and rocked the rim as he jammed it in to put the Eagles on top 7-2 with 18:03 to play in the first half. The Eagles led by as much as seven before Delgado started making their push.
MCC used a 13-3 run to lead 30-24 with 6:31 to play in the first half. But Delgado got some easy buckets in transition at the end of the first half and headed into the locker room with a slim 42-40 lead.
MCC's Lane led the way with 27 points followed by Cole with 18. Ragan netted 14, and Robert Ivy chipped in with 12.
MCC will face Southern Shreveport in its final game Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Ivy Sports Center.