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Lions roar past Eagles

By Staff
UP IN THE AIR MCC's Eva Lockhart gets fouled by EMCC as she takes a shot. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper/staff writer
Jan. 11, 2002
SCOOBA On a night in which former East Mississippi Community College coaching legend Keyes T. Currie, Sr. was honored, the Lions turned in their most outstanding game of the season as they defeated Meridian Community College 89-83.
EMCC improved to 2-8 with the win, while MCC fell to 8-8 in dropping its third straight game.
The MCC Lady Eagles, ranked No. 6 in this week's NJCAA women's poll, defeated EMCC 85-72 in the opener to improve to 14-0. The Lady Lions fell to 1-9.
MCC returns to action at home Saturday night against Shelton State. EMCC's next games are with Mississippi Delta here on Monday.
EMCC men 89
MCC 83
The Lions got their first win since a Nov. 11 victory over Jones and it couldn't have come at a better time.
MCC led 20-11 early when Sammie Cole hit his third 3-pointer.
ReShard Alonza made three free throws with 7:21 to go in the first half to pull the Lions to within 30-29 and then gave EMCC a 31-30 lead 23 seconds later when he followed up his own miss.
Meanwhile, the Eagles struggled offensively as they went nearly seven minutes without a basket before Ricardo Kelly scored on a tip in with 1:36 to go before halftime. By then, EMCC led 42-33.
EMCC led 44-34 at the break behind nine points from Dennis Dupree, eight from Ryan Rodriguez, and seven from Clem Celestine.
Cole led the Eagles with 14 first-half points.
The Lions took a 64-45 advantage with 12:26 to go on a driving layup by Rodriguez.
MCC got back to within 74-58 with 7:24 showing, but a 3-pointer by Jimmy Kelly put the Lions up by 19.
EMCC took its biggest lead of the game at 79-58 on a basket by Celestine with 6:12 left only to have the Eagles go on an 8-0 run.
MCC got as close as six when a layup by Treman Hannah pulled the Eagles to within 82-76 with 51 seconds to go.
A 7-of-8 showing at the free-throw line sealed EMCC's second win of the year.
EMCC got 17 points from Celestine, 13 apiece from Dupree and Rodriguez, 10 from Raphael Edwards, nine each from Alonza and Tramechie Evans, and six from Davarrius Hairston.
Cole led MCC with 23 points. Korey Moore scored 13, Michael Monroe had 11, and Robert Ivy added seven.
MCC women 85
The Lady Eagles scored the game's first six points and led 25-11 midway through the first half before EMCC rallied to within 30-25 on a basket from Natalie Williams three minutes before halftime.
Williams scored all eight EMCC points during a stretch that saw the Lady Lions whittle into the MCC double-digit lead.
The Lady Lions got to within 30-27 on a basket from Candace Spires two minutes before intermission.
MCC closed the half with a 6-2 run to carry a 36-29 lead into halftime behind 10 points from Monique Horner, eight from Tijwana Collins, and six from Cantea Brown.
It took the Lady Eagles less than seven minutes of the second half to break the game open. Horner made a layup while falling following a steal, hit two free throws, and pulled up at the free-throw line for a jumper as MCC took a 58-41 lead with 13:35 to play. Genice Terry made a layup 16 seconds later for a 19-point lead.
MCC stretched out to a 27-point advantage at 78-51 before the Lady Lions scored 17 of the next 21 points to close to within 82-68 with three minutes left.
Horner led MCC with 16 points. Brown and Terry both scored 14, Collins had 10, Erica Starks nine, and Felicia Washington eight.
EMCC got 14 points each from Spires and Michelle Shaffer, 10 apiece from Williams and Donna Franklin, and seven from Margaret McClure.