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ECCC looks toward postseason

By By Marty Stamper/staff writer
Feb. 8, 2002
DECATUR Feb. 7 was pretty much a make-or-break day for the postseason hopes of the East Central Community College basketball teams.
Both the Warriors and Lady Warriors took huge strides forward as they knocked off Copiah-Lincoln in Thursday's MACJC South Division contests in the Brackeen-Wood Physical Education Building.
The Lady Warriors handed Co-Lin just its second regular-season loss in the last two years, beating the 14th-ranked Lady Wolves 72-66 in the opener.
The Warriors completed the sweep with a 77-64 victory over the Wolves.
The Lady Warriors outscored Co-Lin 49-36 in the second half to up their league record to 5-3 and their overall mark to 11-7.
ECCC trailed 30-23 at halftime after Lady Warrior sophomore Lori Cumberland connected on a 3-pointer from the left corner as time ran out in the first half.
Back-to-back three's from Nikki LaCour and Cumberland pulled the Lady Warriors to within 34-33 with 17:33 left and a free throw by Shelly Giddings knotted the contest at 34-34 at the 16:58 mark.
Co-Lin took five three-point leads before an 8-0 ECCC run gave the Lady Warriors a 55-50 edge with 7:31 remaining. LaCour had three of the four baskets with the last coming when she swatted a Co-Lin pass into the backcourt, ran the ball down, and laid it up for the 55-50 advantage.
The Lady Wolves got as close as two points when a 3-pointer from Tiania Burns made it 61-59 with 3:38 to go.
ECCC responded with baskets by Ashley Brown and Christina Ford to go up by six (65-59) with 1:35 left.
Cumberland, Giddings, and LaCour combined to make seven-of-their-eight free throws over the final 75 seconds to seal the win.
All of the South Division women's teams have at least two league losses.
ECCC travels to Southwest Mississippi on Monday.
LaCour led ECCC with 26 points. Ford scored 16, including back-to-back baskets to keep ECCC up 59-54 with just over six minutes showing.
Cumberland had 14, Giddings six, and Brown five. Cumberland hit three 3s with LaCour hitting two.
Burns hit four 3s in leading Co-Lin with 20 points.
Lindsay Altman had 12, Christy Brown 10, Shaquita Smith nine, and Nikki Blakely eight.
The Lady Warriors held Mindy Livaudais, who got in foul trouble, to just five points.
ECCC men 77
Co-Lin 64
The Warriors started their game hot, leading by as many as 16 points in the first 20 minutes before taking a 41-32 lead into halftime.
Co-Lin scrapped back to within 54-53 on a basket by Jason Scott with just under 12 minutes left.
The Warriors responded with a 12-0 run to break the game open. During the run, ECCC got two 3-pointers from Winfred Craig and another from Corey Hornsby to take a 67-53 lead with 6:37 remaining.
Hornsby led the Warriors with 24 points as they improved to 8-10 overall and 3-5 in division play. ECCC, Co-Lin, and Hinds each have at least five league losses with at least one of the three teams making the state playoffs. The Warriors still have Hinds at home and last place Pearl River on the road. Their other two games are at Southwest and with Jones at ECCC.
ECCC also got 19 points from Craig, 11 from Maurice English, nine from James Denson, and seven from Donzel Crenshaw.
Co-Lin got 15 points from Bruce Smith, 14 from Scott, and eight each from Quentin Christian and B.J. Black. The Wolves dropped to 6-12 overall and 3-5 in the division.