The East Central Community College Lady Warriors jumped on the Hinds Lady Bulldogs early and never let up in posting a 77-44 MACJC South Division win Thursday, Jan. 24, at J.D. Boyd Gym in Utica. In the men's action, a furious second-half comeback by the ECCC Warriors fell two points short as the Hinds Bulldogs picked up a 78-76 win.
It was the second straight win for the ECCC Lady Warriors and second straight double-digit victory after defeating Meridian 84-64 on Jan. 22. East Central dominated the boards, pulling down 50 rebounds to just 21 for Hinds. The Lady Warriors also produced 12 steals on the night, including four by Kimberly Green, a freshman forward out of Amanda Elzy in Greenwood. The East Central defense held the Hinds Lady Bulldogs to just 25 percent shooting from the floor for the game.
East Central led by only 10 at the half, before running away with the third period 30-9 to put the game out of reach.
The Lady Warriors were led by the 17 points and seven rebounds of sophomore forward Sharan Turner (Gonzales, La., East Ascension), as 11 players got into the scoring column. Sophomore guard Breanna Riley of Biloxi and freshman guard/forward KeiMoya Walker of Jackson Murrah came off the bench to score 10 each. Walker had a game-high eight rebounds.
With the win, the ECCC Lady Warriors improved to 12-3 overall and 3-3 in MACJC South Division play to move into a tie for fourth place in the standings. The Hinds Lady Bulldogs fell to 5-9 and 0-6.
The Hinds Bulldogs were on fire in the first half of the men's game, shooting 60 percent from the floor and pushing out to as much as a 15-point lead. Hinds led East Central 48-35 at the intermission. The Warriors battled back in the final 20 minutes, cutting the lead to three with under 10 minutes to play. East Central got to within one point with 3.7 seconds to play before free throws sealed the win for Hinds.
For the game, Hinds went to the free throw line 18 more times that East Central, making 11 more of the free attempts than the Warriors.
Freshman Nick Preyer (Mobile, Ala., Leflore) had a career night for East Central in the loss with 26 points, including a perfect four-of-four on three-point shots. Also scoring in double figures for the Warriors were freshman guard Devin Carter of Pearl with 14 and sophomore guard Roti Ware of Morton with 13.
The loss dropped East Central to 7-8 overall and 0-6 in division play. The Hinds Bulldogs improved to 9-6 and 2-4.
East Central will host a pair of MACJC South Division matchups next week. Southwest visits Brackeen-Wood Gym in Decatur on Monday, Jan. 28, on Be Our Guest night for students attending high schools in Newton County. East Central will host Gulf Coast on Thursday, Jan. 31, on Be Our Guest night for high school students in Neshoba County. Game times both nights are 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.