Pearl River men win 10th straight with upset of No. 7 East Mississippi

Published 8:04 am Friday, January 28, 2022

The Pearl River men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to 10 in a row with a thrilling, upset victory over No. 7 East Mississippi Thursday night, winning the game 72-59.

“I saw a very motivated team tonight,” Pearl River head coach Chris Oney said. “They really wanted to get this win. They were playing together and playing for one another. We know how good of a basketball team that we have, and we know how good our players are.”

FIRST HALF
Pearl River (14-2 overall; 9-0 MACCC) hit the floor running, jumping out to a 21-9 lead over East Mississippi (12-4; 5-2) halfway through the first quarter of play.

Immediately after, Jaronn Wilkens (Biloxi) drove down the lane and fought through the traffic for a layup to make the score 23-10.
After back-to-back baskets from the Lions made the score 23-14, Carlous Williams (Hattiesburg; Harrison Central) drained a 3-pointer to make the score 26-14.

At the 5-minute mark in the first quarter, Jaronn Wilkens put a hook shot through to put PRCC ahead 28-16.

Moments later, Earl Smith, Jr (Jackson; Lanier) received a pass from Jaronn Wilkens and swiftly nailed a shot from beyond the arc to make the score 31-18.

The Wildcats continued to pour it on in the first half of play, taking a 38-24 lead into the final play of the first half. As time was expiring, Jair Currie (Albany, N.Y.; St. Thomas More) caught a pass from Cameron Brown (Hattiesburg) and banked home a 3-pointer to take a 41-26 lead into halftime.

SECOND HALF
The second half of play saw East Mississippi cut the deficit to just nine points with 13:36 left on the clock, but J.D. Allen (Brookhaven; Wesson) hit nothing but net on a shot from way beyond the 3-point line to make the score 51-39.

EMCC fought back to make it a 51-44 game before Williams pulled the momentum back into the Wildcats favor. After EMCC picked off a pass, Williams got back in transition and blocked the shot.

The lead was once again cut to single-digits by the Lions as they hit a 3-pointer to make it 59-50, but Jariyon Wilkens (Biloxi) responded with a long jumper to make it 61-50.

The teams traded a few more baskets, but Pearl River went on to take the contest 72-59.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING
Twins Jariyon Wilkens and Jaronn Wilkens tied for the team lead in points with 14.

“Those guys have been on the floor for us a long time. They helped us win a region championship two years ago, so big moments don’t really phase them because they’ve been part of that before. Tonight, they showed experience which is something that we needed. They came through.”

Smith was second on the team in points with nine and smith led the team in rebounds, hauling in six.

Jaronn WilkensDylan Brumfield (Hattiesburg; Oak Grove), Brison Waller (Cleveland, Ohio.; Garfield Heights) and Williams all tied for the team lead in rebounds with five.

Smith and Brumfield tied for the team lead in assists, grabbing four apiece.

NEXT UP
Pearl River returns to action Monday night as Holmes makes the trip to Poplarville. The game is set to get underway at 6 p.m.

TICKETS

Single-game tickets are available now and can be purchased at PRCCAthletics.com/tickets

TUNE IN
All home Pearl River basketball games are livestreamed for free at PRCCMedia.com/gold. Fans who have Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV devices can also watch the Wildcat broadcasts by downloading the “Pearl River CC” channel from their app stores.

Games can also be heard on WRJW 1320-AM, 106.9 FM and WRJWRadio.com.

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