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Lady Eagles blow past ECCC in second half

By Staff
ON THE MOVE East Central's Lori Cumberland passes off against Meridian's Genice Terry. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper/.staff writer
Feb. 5, 2002
For the first 10 minutes Monday night, the 11th-ranked Meridian Community College Lady Eagles had trouble finding the right gears to their offense.
In the first eight minutes of the second half, however, the Lady Eagles had both feet on the gas pedal as they zoomed past East Central Community College for a 98-74 win at the Ivy Sports Center.
The first half saw five ties and five lead changes in the first meeting of the two schools since the mid-1980s.
A snowbird basket by MCC's Tijwana Collins gave the Lady Eagles a 10-9 lead with 10:06 left in the first half as both teams had trouble scoring in the early going.
Monique Horner hit a pair of 3-pointers in an 8-0 run that extended MCC's 18-17 lead to 26-17 with 5:30 to go in the first half.
MCC led by as much as 30-19 in the first half before the Lady Warriors battled back to within 36-30 at the break.
Nikki LaCour had 15 of ECCC's 30 first-half points, while Horner had 13 of MCC's 36.
ECCC outscored MCC 6-5 in the early stages of the second half, but a jumper by Tiffany Portis, a 3-pointer from Collins, and a steal and layup by Horner gave the Lady Eagles a 48-36 advantage with 16:06 remaining.
A trio of 3-pointers by MCC sandwiched around a pair of two-point baskets by ECCC put the Lady Eagles up 64-45 with 12:03 left. Collins, Horner, and Cantea Brown each hit a trey in the run.
The Lady Eagles eventually built their lead to 31 points on two occasions before ECCC scored 14 of the game's final 21 points.
Horner led MCC, 22-1, with 25 points. She connected on five of the Lady Eagles' 10 3-point baskets. Collins hit four threes in tallying 18 points. Genice Terry scored 17, Brown and Nikki Yarbrough both had 10, with Eva Lockhart tossing in six.
ECCC, 10-7, got 20 points from LaCour, 10 from Christina Ford, nine from Melinda Ben, eight from Lori Cumberland, seven apiece from Ashley Brown and Tamekia Foley, and six from Trelisa Eichelberger.
MCC returns to action tonight at 7 p.m. for a women's game only at Summit against Southwest Mississippi, a 90-52 winner over Pearl River Monday night. The Lady Bears are 13-4 and knocked off No. 8 Copiah-Lincoln last week at Summit.
ECCC hosts Co-Lin Thursday in a men's-women's doubleheader at 6 p.m.