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Smothering defense pushes Pearl River men past Coahoma

Dylan Dunaway - PRCC Sports Information Director

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River men's basketball team knew that it had to lock in defensively Monday night, and the Wildcats showed up and showed out. PRCC defeated visiting Coahoma 76-48 in the first MACCC game of the campaign. The Tigers had averaged over 90 points per game before the Wildcats held them to a season-low 48 points. 

"We started out a little uptight, and I think that knocked us off our rhythm," head coach Chris Oney said. "I saw the way we were playing defense, and I knew we were in for a good night. It reminded me a little bit of the way we used to play defense here."



Things started off slow between Pearl River (14-2 overall; 1-0 MACCC) and Coahoma (8-2; 0-1) as nearly six minutes into the contest the score was only 6-6. The Wildcats didn't start to stretch out a lead until 10:52 remaining on the clock. Davion James (Brandon; Northwest Rankin) was sent to the baseline to inbound the ball. He made a good decision to find Cedquavious Hunter (Como; North Panola), who caught the pass and immediately nailed the jumper, 17-12.

The Ta'Zir Smith (Woodbridge, Va.; Virginia Academy) takeover began with 5:50 remaining in the half. Following a perfect trip to the charity stripe, he drove down the court, unleashed a nasty spin move to lose a defender, and softly laid the ball off the backboard and in. 

Smith was perfect from the free-throw line again moments later, and on the next play, he sent a floor-length pass to Ezereke Dawson Jr. (Plant City, Fla.). Dawson Jr. hauled in the pass and threw a two-handed slam down, 25-16. 

The points continued to flow throughout the rest of the half, powered by Smith. By the time the almost six-minute stretch had ended, Smith had scored 13 of Pearl River's final 20 points of the half, and the Wildcats brought a 37-19 advantage into the break.

Early in the second half, Austin Green (Sicklerville, N.J.; Timber Creek Regional) grabbed the Wildcats some momentum. After backing his way into the paint, he knocked down a miracle shot, draining a layup despite falling to the ground, 41-19. Green had another stellar play a while later. He dribbled one time into the paint and pump-faked, which sent a pair of defenders flying past him and allowed for an easy layup, 51-26.

Dorien Goodman (Dallas, Texas; Lancaster) and Dyllion Redmond (Jackson; Callaway) combined to send the Wildcat crowd into hysterics with 7:29 left. Goodman dashed down the court and threw a perfect lob to the crashing Redmond. In one motion, Redmond tomahawk slammed the ball, 63-37.

Pearl River continued to add on down the stretch before earning a 76-48 victory.



Smith was electric for the Wildcats, finishing with a 29-point, 10-rebound double-double. He also had four steals and a block.

Green finished with 17 points and six rebounds. Dawson Jr. hauled in nine rebounds and picked up nine points. 



Pearl River hits the road Thursday to take on East Central at 7:30 p.m. The contest will be livestreamed at and can be heard at


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



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