The East Central Community College Lady Warriors broke a two-game losing streak with a crucial 84-64 MACJC South Division win over the visiting Meridian Community College Lady Eagles Tuesday, Jan. 22, in Brackeen-Wood Gym in Decatur. In the nightcap, the ECCC Warriors dropped their fourth straight game in a 79-63 loss to the MCC Eagles.
The Lady Warriors shot 60 percent from the field in the first two periods to push out to a 13-point halftime lead, 48-35. East Central continued to shoot well from the floor in the second half in grabbing the 20-point win.
For the game, ECCC shot 54 percent from the floor, including 10 of its 24 three-point shots. It was the best shooting game for East Central since a win over Southern University-Shreveport back on Nov. 19. The Lady Warriors also held a decided edge on the boards, 34-22.
Sophomore guard Feria Mays of Kosciusko led the way for ECCC with 15 points. Freshman guard Jariyah Covington of Starkville added 12 and sophomore forward Diamond Wraggs of Louisville chipped in 10.
The Meridian Lady Eagles were led by a game-high 22 points from freshman guard LaChrisha Williams out of Choctaw Central.
With the win, the ECCC Lady Warriors improved to 11-3 overall and 2-3 in MACJC South Division play. The Meridian Lady Eagles fell to 8-6 and 2-3.
In the men's game, the Meridian Eagles pushed out to a 10-point lead at the half, 37-27, and built that lead in the second half to the 79-63 final margin. East Central went to the free throw line 39 times in the contest, hitting only 25 of those attempts. The two teams were whistled for a combined 58 fouls in 40 minutes of play.
Meridian had a good night shooting from beyond the three-point line, hitting 9 of 15 shots for 60 percent.
East Central freshman forward JaQuarius Smith out of Noxubee County led all scorers with 18 points. Sophomore guard Roti Ware of Morton was the only other Warrior in double figures with 14. He also had four steals.
Freshman guard Iverson Smith of Ripley led MCC with 13 points, while 6-8 sophomore center Brandon Mills of Mendenhall pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
The loss dropped East Central to 7-7 overall and 0-5 in division play. The Warriors have now dropped seven of their last eight games after starting the season 6-0. The MCC Eagles improved to 7-6 and 2-3.
East Central will head to Utica on Thursday, Jan. 24, to face the Hinds women and men at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in J.D. Boyd Gym. The Warriors and Lady Warriors will then 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.