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Pearl River men push unbeaten streak to 11 games

Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director


POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River men's basketball team had its hands full for the majority of the contest Monday night against Hinds but surged late to run away with an 80-63 victory. The victory marked an 11th straight win for the Wildcats.

"I knew they were going to come in here on a high note after beating a Northeast team that was ranked in the top 25," head coach Chris Oney said. "That's what happened the first 25 minutes tonight. They played at a pace they were comfortable with and executed on offense. I was glad we were able to push out the lead and get a win."

 

GAME RECAP

It was evident that Pearl River (16-2 overall; 3-0 MACCC) and Hinds (6-14; 1-3) were in for a battle right from the start of the contest as eight minutes into the night there had already been eight lead changes between the teams. The advantage momentarily shifted in favor of the Wildcats at 14-13 when Cedquavious Hunter (Como; North Panola) passed the ball from the midcourt line to Ta'Zir Smith (Woodbridge, Va.; Virginia Academy), standing just inside the arc. Smith hesitated for a second, dribbled once behind the line and drilled a 3-pointer.


The Bulldogs quickly tied the game up with a free throw and went on to take a four-point, 18-14 lead shortly after. Dorien Goodman (Dallas, Texas; Lancaster) helped the Wildcats get right back within one point with back-to-back great plays. The first saw him drive in, avoid a defender and lay it softly off the glass. On the next, he lasered a pass over defenders to Ezereke Dawson Jr. (Plant City, Fla.), who scored through a foul and drained his free throw, 19-18.

Dawson Jr. gave PRCC a lead one play later, flying out of nowhere to slam down a ball that was falling off the rim. Dyllion Redmond (Jackson; Callaway) provided the follow-up play, knocking away a Bulldog pass and going coast-to-coast for a two-handed jam, 23-19.

The points continued to flow for Dawson Jr. (pictured) near the end of the quarter, knocking down two more layups and banking a short jumper off the backboard and through the hoop. By the time the quarter was up, Dawson Jr. had reeled in 13 points and five rebounds to send the Wildcats into the break with a 38-32 advantage.


Hinds came out of the halftime break with a new plan and immediately brought things back to a one-basket game, 42-40, making the Wildcats sweat slightly. Austin Green (Sicklerville, N.J.; Timber Creek Regional) stretched the lead back out to five with a layup and a free throw, then Redmond proved that big men could shoot, smashing a 3-pointer from the left corner of the court, 48-40.

Smith's perfect trip to the charity stripe with 12:30 remaining in the contest extended Pearl River's lead to 54-47. The Bulldog deficit remained at seven points a while later, 60-53, before PRCC really started to pull away. 

Ahead 67-59, Hunter electrified the crowd with back-to-back 3-pointers, which effectively put the game to rest for Hinds. HCC added a few more baskets, but Pearl River continued to match them, walking away with an 80-63 win.

 

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING

Hunter finished with a game-high 21 points. He also added in five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Dawson Jr. wrapped up his night with a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double.

"He stepped up and scored for us," Oney said. "The first or second play of the game I jumped on him. He made up for it on offense. They were double-teaming Austin and he found gaps in the defense and scored some baskets."

Smith finished the night with 17 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds. Green was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 11 points.

 

NEXT UP

Pearl River heads to Fulton on Thursday for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff against Itawamba. The game will be livestreamed at LetsGoICCTV.com.

 

For the latest on Pearl River Community College athletics, follow us on X (@PRCCAthletics) and Facebook (PRCCAthletics). 

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