The East Central Community College men's and women's basketball teams traveled to Mobile, Ala., for their season openers and came home with a couple of big wins over Bishop State Community College Thursday, Nov. 2.
The ECCC Lady Warriors gave new coach LaTaryl Williams his first win as a head coach with a 63-51 victory in the opener. The Warriors followed that with an 84-69 win over the Bishop State Wildcats in the second game.
In the women's action, East Central led almost the entire game, pushing out to a 10-point lead after one quarter. Bishop State pulled to within one at the half, 24-23, before the Lady Warriors took control in the third period.
Sophomore guard Feria Mays of Kosciusko paced the Lady Warriors in their win with 14 points. Sophomore forward Sharan Turner (Gonzales, La., East Ascension) chipped in a dozen points and pulled down seven rebounds. She also had a team-leading four assists. Freshman guard Jariyah Covington out of Starkville scored 10 points in her debut. Makaila Carter, a freshman forward from Hahnville High School in Boutte, La., had seven rebounds in her first game, while another freshman, forward Timia Dora from Louisville, had three blocked shots.
In the men's game, the Warriors blew open a close game with a big second half performance in the 15-point win. Bishop State led 39-38 at the intermission before East Central outscored the Wildcats by 16 in the second half.
Leading the way for East Central was freshman forward JaQuarius Smith of Noxubee County who scored a game-high 21 points and had nine rebounds. Smith was a perfect eight-for-eight from the floor. Freshman guard Nick Preyer (Mobile, Ala., Leflore) added 14 points in his first game as a Warrior, and sophomore guard Roti Ware of Morton had 13 points, five rebounds, and six assists. Freshman forward Tanner Owen, who prepped at Kemper Academy, came off the bench to grab seven rebounds.
The East Central teams will open their home seasons Thursday, Nov. 8, when East Mississippi visits Brackeen-Wood Gym in Decatur. The women will play at 5:30 p.m. and the men at 7:30 p.m.
All ECCC home basketball games this season can be heard on WKOZ Cruisin 98.3, or watched via live stream video at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media.
A complete schedule of games can be found at www.ecccathletics.com.