Pearl River women get out and run in opener
POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Everyone got involved in Pearl River’s 81-53 season opening victory over Delgado on Monday inside a raucous Marvin R. White Coliseum.
With the win, the Wildcats have won every season opener in Pearl River coach Scotty Fletcher’s five seasons leading the program.
“We didn’t have the game we wanted to by any means, but obviously our depth, athleticism, length and transition offense was big. We got some key stops late,” Fletcher said. “One thing that stuck out to me is we’re going to give up more points than I’m used to. I want to play faster and when you’re playing faster that’s going to happen.
“We just have to be better in transition and at the free throw line.”
The Wildcats (1-0 overall) and Dolphins (0-1) had a back-and-forth first quarter with PRCC holding a narrow 17-15 advantage at the first break.
Pearl River scored the first five points and the last five points of the second quarter to take a 36-23 advantage into halftime.
After that, it was all Wildcats.
The track speed of freshman Allanah Turner (Gulfport; West Harrison) was on display in the third. Twice within a couple of minutes, Turner blazed down the court to lead fastbreaks and was fouled while scoring; the and-ones prompted fist pumps into a boisterous PRCC student section.
The two old-fashioned three-point plays sandwiched a Turner jumper that helped PRCC extend its lead to 51-31 with just over 15 minutes remaining in the contest.
“She was the No. 1 track athlete in the state. She turned down a scholarship to Mississippi State to run track. She just loves basketball,” Fletcher said. “She has to use her speed and quickness to impact the game defensively as well as offensively.
“With her speed and quickness she’s like Muhammad Ali — she can turn the light off and be back in bed by the time the lights go out.”
By the end of the third, PRCC held a 59-39 advantage.
With reserves largely leading the way in the final 10 minutes, Pearl River raced away to close out its 28-point victory.
Pearl River’s Adia Rogers (right) and Chardeidra Madison (middle) battle for a rebound during the Wildcats’ 81-53 victory over Delgado on Monday at Marvin R. White Coliseum in Poplarville, Miss. (BRETT RUSS/PRCC ATHLETICS)
The Wildcats’ 3-point shooting helped set the tempo for the home team as they collectively shot 37 percent.
Sophomores Jakia Harper (Jackson; Provine) and Maliyah Bullard (Pass Christian) helped pace the team’s long-range assault, respectively knocking down four and three three-pointers.
Bullard led Pearl River with a 14-point outburst. Harper wasn’t far off the pace with 11 points.
“It was good to see Maliyah and Jakia come off the bench,” Fletcher said. “That’s one thing I like about this team — those are two experienced guards and it showed tonight.”
Alanna Smith (Picayune) scored nine points, while Turner, Brieanna Miller (Moss Point) and Shania Wright (Clinton) each scored eight.
Miller pulled in a team-high nine rebounds. Meah Monroe (Reserve, La.; East St. John) and Adia Rogers (Madison, Wisc.; School of Language) added six a piece.
Smith also led PRCC with five assists.
“I thought Shania was phenomenal,” Fletcher said. “Eight points and nine rebounds for Brie; that’s good for a college debut. She can be a double-double type player for us.”
Pearl River returns action Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. tip at Northwest. PRCC returns to Marvin R. White Coliseum on Nov. 11 for a 5:30 p.m. start against Coastal Alabama-North.
All home games will be livestreamed on PRCCMedia.com/gold and can be heard on WRJW 1320 AM or by tuning into the WRJW app.
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