Lady Eagles defeat East Central

By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
March 5, 2002
CLINTON Monday's quarterfinal matchup between Meridian Community College and East Central Community College in the Region 23 Tournament at Mississippi College was just about what you'd expect from the programs that have owned the event for the last three years.
MCC built a 16-point lead in the first half and held off the defending region champion Lady Warriors down the stretch to take an 89-80 victory. The 29-2 Lady Eagles advance to the semifinal round on Wednesday where they will play 20-6 Southwest Mississippi, a 68-54 first-round winner over Northeast Mississippi, at noon.
MCC is ranked No. 12 in the final NJCAA poll, while Southwest is No. 25.
MCC and Southwest met on Feb. 5 at Summit with the hot-shooting Lady Bears handing the Lady Eagles one of their two losses after scoring 57 first-half points.
The MCC-ECCC battle featured several stellar individual scoring efforts. Nikki LaCour led the Lady Warriors with a game-high 35 points which included ECCC's last 12 points.
MCC, which won the 1999 and 2000 regionals, got 50 points from the duo of Genice Terry and Monique Horner. Terry tossed in 27 with Horner adding 23. The two accounted for four of MCC's seven 3-point baskets.
MCC scored the game's first six points only to have ECCC go on a 7-0 run to take its only lead of the night at 7-6 with 16:05 to go in the first half.
The Lady Eagles answered with a 10-0 run to go up 16-7 and were ahead 29-13 with 8:19 left in the first half after an 8-0 run.
MCC led by 16 points on four occasions in the first half thanks to four 3-point baskets. The Lady Eagles led 38-22 before ECCC used an 8-0 run to close to within 40-30 at halftime.
A basket by Horner gave MCC another 16-point advantage at 54-38 with 15 minutes remaining.
A 6-0 run capped by a driving layup by LaCour cut MCC's lead to 62-55 with 8:39 left.
A 4-of-6 showing at the free-throw line by Horner and Terry extended MCC's lead back to 68-56 with 7:49 left. Horner went 1-of-2 twice with MCC getting the offensive rebound after both misses.
A basket apiece by Tamekia Foley and LaCour pulled the Lady Warriors back to within 76-70 with 4:22 still showing.
Unlike last year when MCC was eliminated with a first-round loss to Pearl River, this year's Lady Eagles didn't wilt down the stretch. In fact, 11 of their final 13 points came at the free-throw line over the final 4:18. Horner made 5-of-8 tries during that span, while Terry was 4-of-4.
The Lady Eagles were 9-of-12 at the charity line over the final 2:12. For the game, MCC made 30 of its 39 free throws while ECCC made 16 of its 22.
MCC also got 17 points from Collins, who hit three 3-pointers; eight from Washington, and six each from Brown and Nikki Yarbrough.
ECCC got 12 points from Foley, nine from Shaneka Cistrunk, eight from Lori Cumberland, seven from Christina Ford, and six from Ashley Brown. The Lady Warriors finished their season with a 14-11 mark.
In Monday's other women's games, Itawamba eliminated Pearl River 65-61 and seventh-ranked Copiah-Lincoln ousted Northwest Mississippi 73-68.

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