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Jones Bobcats take two from EMCC Lions

By By Richard Strength/EMG-Laurel Leader-Call
Nov. 28, 2001
ELLISVILLE The Jones Junior College Bobcats avenged their only loss of the season with a 78-67 victory over the East Mississippi Lions Tuesday in Bobcat Gym.
The Lions defeated Jones, 84-80, in overtime Nov. 12 in Scooba.
In the women's game Tuesday, the Lady Bobcats whipped the Lady Lions, 69-46.
Jones 78
East Mississippi 67
Chris Keys scored 12 of his team-high 16 points in the second half to lead the Bobcats to the victory.
EMCC held its biggest lead of the game at 43-38 with 13:51 to play when
Jones erupted for a 12-2 run and the Bobcats never trailed again.
Nick Paige had a 3-pointer to start the run and Keys added another trey to provide Jones with a 50-45 edge at the 10:31 mark of the second half. Dennis Dupree sank a free throw and a fall-away jumper, then ReShard Alonza added a layup to tie the contest for the final time at 50-50 with 9:00 remaining.
A tip-in by Key one minute later gave the Bobcats the lead for good, but
EMCC was behind by just three at 65-62 with 3:32 left. Then the dam broke.
The Bobcats scored 12 unanswered points to seal the win. Jermaine Sherman stole the ball near midcourt and went in for a layup, with help from a goaltending call against the Lions' Josh Steele.
Phil Carter then grabbed a loose ball and fed Keys for a layup and a foul. After Keys' free throw, Jones led 70-62 with 2:19 to play. Over the next minute and a half, Jones added free throws from Lee J. Kirkpatrick and McKinley Bethea and baskets by Carter and Bethea to put the game out of reach.
The Bobcats made just 35 percent of their shots in the first half, but improved to 46 percent in the second half. The Lions made 35 percent from the field for the game.
For the first 37 minutes of the game, the outcome was truly in doubt. In the first half, neither team led by more than six points and Jones held a 31-30 advantage at halftime. There were three ties and eight lead changes in the second half.
Alonza scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the second half to keep the game close, but most of his points came from inside as Jones took away the outside shot and shut down the passing lanes.
The Bobcat defense came up with 13 steals and forced 17 turnovers by the Lions. Jones also blocked four shots and drew three charges.
Four Bobcats scored in double figures, led by Keys' 16. Rashaune Walters and Sherman each had 12 points, while Paige added 10. Sherman and Kirkpatrick each had six rebounds.
Jones improved to 4-1, while East Mississippi fell to 1-6.
Lady Bobcats 69
Lady Lions 47
The Jones defense frustrated EMCC into an anemic shooting performance Tuesday and the Lady Bobcats coasted to a 69-47 triumph.
The Lady Lions made 24-of-65 shots from the field for a 24.6 percent shooting night, including a meager 4-for-29 from the 3-point line.
Jones had a 20-2 edge in steals for the game, leading to fast break scoring opportunities.
Add to the equation a 51-38 rebounding edge for Jones and the Lady Bobcats weren't seriously threatened in the contest.
Jones held a 38-25 halftime lead and built a 20-point gap at 50-30 with 12:23 to play after consecutive baskets by Brittany Sumrall and Rani Webb. A bucket by EMCC's Kelly Peoples cut the deficit to 14 points at 51-37 with 9:37 left, but a 6-0 run by Jones lifted the bulge to 57-57. Andrea Austin hit a short jumper, Kim White had a layup and Natalie Trotter sank a pair of free throws to fuel the run.
The Lady Bobcats built their largest lead of the game with 1:38 remaining when Demesha Chambers and Lakisha Hales had back-to-back baskets to put Jones up 69-44. Austin led Jones with 12 points and five assists. White was next with 11 points, while Chambers chipped in with 10. Thelma Copper was the leading rebounder for the Lady Bobcats with six boards and had a game-high five steals.
Erica Ray paced the Lady Lions with 10 points. Jones improved to 3-2 with the win. Jones travels to Summit Thursday for a pair of games with Southwest.
East Mississippi will host two basketball games on Thursday night. The Lady Lions will play Bevill State Community College at 5 p.m. The EMCC men will follow at 7 p.m. in a match up with the Marion Military Institute.