Pearl River overcomes a slow start to win big over Co-Lin
Richard Gleber - PRCC Sports Media
POPLARVILLE, Miss. – The Pearl River women’s basketball team (17-1; 7-1 MACCC) overcame a slow start to shellac Copiah-Lincoln (13-5; 3-4), 84-56 Monday inside Marvin R. White Coliseum.
J’Mani Ingram (North Augusta, S.C) continued to shine for the Wildcats, contributing a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double in the win.
"I felt like early on, we focused our effort on the wrong end," head coach Scotty Fletcher said. "We weren't disciplined early on. I was extremely pleased with our effort on the glass. Our relentless pursuit of playing defense and rebounding the basketball was huge. Our depth really shined tonight and we grabbed a quality win."
Both teams looked to find their groove through the early part of the first quarter, trading baskets while looking for a chance to build a lead. Co-Lin gained some momentum in the first four minutes of the quarter and built a 17-12 lead with 5:26 left on the clock. Coming out of a PRCC timeout, Hama’ya Fielder (Philadelphia, Miss.; Neshoba Central) hit a big three-pointer to close the gap, 18-15.
After Co-Lin scored four unanswered points, 22-15, the Wildcats found their rhythm and went on a 10-0 run to end the quarter. Keshunti Nichols (Pearl) started the run with a strong rebound followed by a spin move putback to close the gap, 22-17. Brandy Scott (Hammond, La.) followed with two free throws after being fouled on a layup. Ingram scored the next four Wildcat points after hitting a jumper from the free throw line and then converting two free throws after being fouled on the next Wildcat possession. Ingram’s free throws gave the Wildcats a 23-22 lead, and they would not surrender it for the rest of the night. Marcavia Shavers (Biloxi) closed out the quarter with a putback basket giving the Wildcats a 25-22 advantage at the break.
PRCC opened the second quarter with baskets by Scott and Ingram, 29-22. Ty’Mesha Reed (Meridian) got in the scoring column with a basket after a Co-Lin timeout. With an 8-point lead, 32-24, the Wildcat defense increased the pressure to cause a Co-Lin turnover.
Ingram increased the PRCC lead to ten, 34-24, with a nice drive to the basket. Reed scored on the next possession with a mid-range jumper, 36-24. Back-to-back blocks by Tierra Simon (Houston, Texas; Heights) helped the Wildcats maintain a 12-point lead during a brief scoring lapse.
After a free throw by Scott, Simon continued her block party with her third block of the quarter, which she converted on the offensive end with a short jump shot in the lane to cap a 10-point PRCC run, 39-24. The Wildcats went into the half with a 17-point lead, 43-26.
Halle Traylor (Tupelo) opened the third quarter with a deep 3-pointer to increase the lead to 20, 46-26. Nichols followed with an athletic layup, slashing through the lane, and in one motion, grabbed the rebound and put a layup in for two, 48-26.
Jaliscia Florence (Tupelo) stopped Co-Lin on its next possession with a steal at the Co-Lin free-throw line. Florence took the turnover from free throw line to free throw line before finding Nichols with a no-look pass for a contested layup, 50-28. Reed hit a floater in the lane to give the Wildcats a 55-32 lead.
Back-to-Back blocks on Co-Lin possessions by Shavers and Simon helped the Wildcats to keep the pressure on the Co-Lin offense. With the score at 55-34, Alexis Arrington (Terry) hit Nichols with a sharp inbound pass to bring the lead to 23.
Arrington continued to make her presence known a couple of possessions later when her lockdown defense led to a Co-Lin backcourt violation. PRCC took advantage with a 3-pointer by Fielder, 61-36. Simon scored the Wildcats last three points of the quarter while adding her fifth block of the night and the Wildcats entered the fourth quarter with a 65-36 lead.
Co-Lin opened the fourth quarter with two 5-point runs, 67-46. The Wildcats kept the Co-Lin momentum at bay with a jumper from the corner by Reed and a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Fielder, 72-50. Following a basket by Shavers, Nichols took an inbound pass and scored on a spinning layup and hit the free throw after being fouled on the play, 78-52. Fielder hit a 3-pointer with 2:51 left in the game. The basket made the score 81-52. PRCC closed out the scoring with free throws by Scott and Zi’A Shields (Lawrence; Newton) to give the Wildcats an 84-56 win.
BY THE NUMBERS
Ingram led the Wildcats with 15 points while adding 11 rebounds and four assists. Shavers and Simon nearly missed double-doubles, Simon's stat line read eight points, 11 rebounds and five blocks. Shavers contributed nine points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Coming off the bench, Fielder added 12 points with three assists and Scott scored nine.
Brandy Scott looks for the open teammate against Co-Lin (Photo: Trenton Gascho/PRCC Athletics)
"She never pouts about how much she gets to play," Fletcher said. "She comes in tonight and gets nine points on 11 minutes. She puts her head down and goes to work. I'm so proud of the growth that we see with her. She's a quality individual."
The Wildcats travel to Scooba to take on the East Mississippi Lions Thursday. Tipoff inside Keyes T. Currie Coliseum is 6 p.m. and will be livestreamed at www.emcclive.com.