‘Effort, heart and passion’ lead Pearl River women past Tallahassee
Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It took a total team effort to get it done, but the Pearl River women's basketball team hit the road Monday and defeated Tallahassee 63-57.
"Tallahassee is an extremely talented basketball team that forces you to execute on both ends," Pearl River coach Scotty Fletcher said. "They were averaging 67 points a game. In their last game, they scored 91. It was a tough environment for us. On a day that we didn't shoot the ball extremely well, our defense allowed us to create some offense.
"It's our first time since I've been here that we've been able to beat a panhandle team. It's an extremely quality road win.
The Wildcats won the rebounding battle 51-31 over the Eagles, including a 27-7 advantage on offensive boards.
"The biggest thing that sticks out was our ability to rebound the ball and get second-chance opportunities," Fletcher said. "We had 27 offensive rebounds today which is probably a record since I've been here. We wouldn't be denied. We showed a lot of effort, heart and passion."
J'Mani Ingram on her way to a drive to the basket
Halle Traylor (Tupelo) got the scoring started for Pearl River (5-0 overall) early in the game, draining a 3-pointer from the wing after a pass from Ty'Mesha Reed (Meridian).
The Wildcats extended their lead to 6-2 soon after as Marcavia Shavers (Biloxi) snatched an offensive rebound and put it right back up for a basket.
Tallahassee (0-7) battled back to cut the deficit to one point at 9-8, but Hama'ya Fielder (Philadelphia; Neshoba Central) struck on the fast break. As Reed brought the ball down the court, Fielder cut inside from the left, caught a pass, and laid it off the glass and into the basket for an 11-8 lead.
TCC fought back to snatch the lead and ended the first quarter with an 18-13 advantage.
After trading baskets for the early portion of the second half, PRCC finally retook the lead with 6:04 remaining on the clock. Keshunti Nichols (Pearl) drove into the lane and got a floater to fall for a 22-21 advantage.
Pearl River eventually ended the half with a 32-28 lead thanks to a perfect trip to the free-throw line from Fielder.
The third quarter was as back-and-forth as they come, featuring three lead changes and one tie.
Despite the Wildcats taking a five-point 35-30 lead on a Fielder 3-pointer, TCC fought back to tie the game up 35-35.
PRCC briefly retook the lead 37-35 thanks to a Shavers layup, but the Eagles took it right back with 4:36 remaining in the corner.
The next lead change came on the very next PRCC possession. The Wildcats shot a 3-pointer and the ball bounced off the rim and shot out to Traylor. The sophomore guard grabbed the offensive rebound, drove inside and got her layup to fall for a 39-38 lead.
TCC fought back immediately and grabbed a 42-41 lead as the game headed into the fourth quarter.
Right out of the quarter break, the J'Mani Ingram (North Augusta, S.C.) takeover began. On back-to-back Pearl River possessions, the Winthrop transfer knocked down big baskets for a 45-42 lead.
A few plays later, Ingram dished off to Traylor who promptly knocked down a 3-pointer. The basket made the score 48-44.
Ingram gave the Wildcats an 8-point 52-44 lead by knocking down a fade-away jump shot with 6:13 remaining in the contest.
The Eagles cut the deficit down to just four points, but the Wildcats were able to pull away late with the help of a 2-for-2 trip to the free-throw line for Shavers, securing a 63-57 victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
Ingram had a remarkable day, finishing with a double-double. Her 16 points were tops on the team and her 10 rebounds were second. She also chipped in three assists and two steals.
"She's really starting to come into her own. She's been there and proven herself at the Division I level. She's getting more and more comfortable with her role here. She shoots a high percentage and rebounds the ball extremely well. That's who she was on paper at Winthrop and we're getting her best basketball."
Fielder finished with 13 points and Traylor finished with 12.
Shavers finished one point shy of a double-double, hauling in 12 rebounds and nine points.
"She's continuing to show that she's one of the top post players in the country. Marcavia is a special young lady. Her two late free throws were critical late. She controls the glass on both ends and did a good job of that today."
Reed ended the day with eight assists, five rebounds and four steals.
Pearl River returns to the court Monday for a home game against Columbia State. Tipoff inside Marvin R. White Coliseum is set for 5:30 p.m.
CASHLESS BOX OFFICE
To help improve traffic flow and fan experience, PRCC athletics box offices will be cashless in 2022-23. Only credit and debit cards will be accepted at the box office. Fans are encouraged to beat the lines and purchase their tickets in advance at PRCCAthletics.com/Tickets.
Pearl River livestreams all home games for free at PRCCMedia.com/gold. Fans who have Roku, Amazon Fire, or Apple TV devices can also watch the Wildcat broadcasts by downloading the "Pearl River CC" channel from their app stores.
Games will also be available over the air in Pearl River County by tuning into 1320 AM and 106.9 FM. The radio broadcast is also available at WRJWRadio.com and by downloading the WRJW app.