Defensive clinic powers Pearl River past East Mississippi
Published 12:00 pm Saturday, February 4, 2023
The Pearl River women’s basketball team showed off its identity once again Thursday night, putting on a defensive clinic at East Mississippi to come away with a massive 84-29 victory. The Wildcat defense held the Lions to 12-for-52 shooting for a 24.1 field goal percentage.
The victory marked the eighth time this season that PRCC has held an opponent to less than 40 points.
“Defense is in our DNA here at Pearl River. That’s our identity,” Pearl River coach Scotty Fletcher said. “Defense is a mindset and these girls have definitely bought into that. They enjoy getting back on defense and relish the opportunity to create havoc. When you have a group of girls that are going in the same direction, it makes my job a lot easier.”
Pearl River (18-1 overall; 8-1 MACCC) played its most dominant quarter of basketball all season, going on a quick 16-0 run. Keshunti Nichols (Pearl) opened things by getting a basket to fall despite being fouled. She then knocked down her free throw. Midway through the run, Ty’Mesha Reed (Meridian) pulled up from the free throw line and let go of a shot that rattled around the rim before falling in. Hama’ya Fielder (Philadelphia; Neshoba Central) capped off the run when she was fed a pass inside for a layup.
Due to PRCC’s stellar defense, East Mississippi (5-10; 3-5) didn’t pick up its first basket until the 3:12 mark in the quarter, making the score 16-2. A 7-0 run to end the quarter was capped off by a Nichols 3-pointer and extended the lead to 23-2.
Brandy Scott (Hammond, La.) took over to begin the second quarter as she added 11 consecutive points for the Wildcats. First, she knocked down a layup, then picked up back-to-back 3-pointers and finished it off by getting a shot to fall and converting the free throw attempt. The run pushed the lead out further to 36-2.
PRCC continued to pile on the points as the quarter moved along, heading into the break with a massive 54-6 lead.
The first five points of the third quarter went to the Lions as they plucked a ball away and scored and followed it up with a 3-pointer. Two free throws from Nichols and a Tierra Simon (Houston, Texas.; Heights) jumper set the score at 60-11.
With 3:49 remaining on the clock, Reed knocked down a basket and was fouled on the play. The sophomore guard stepped to the free-throw line and promptly completed the 3-point play. After an EMCC basket, Alexis Arrington (Terry) slashed home a 3-pointer to help send the Wildcats to the final quarter of the night with a 66-17 advantage.
The scoring began quickly in the fourth when Fielder hit from beyond the 3-point line. Two minutes later, the freshman collected a pair of free throws to add to the lead, 71-17.
Zi’A Shields (Lawrence; Newton) picked up her first basket of the night soon after with a 3-pointer, 77-19. EMCC added the final basket of the night late, but the Wildcats closed the game out with a dominant 84-29 victory.
Scott and Fielder tied for the team lead in points with 15.
“The basketball gods are paying Brandy back in a big way,” Fletcher said. “She does everything right on and off the court. She doesn’t pout, she’s gritty and determined. She was in the zone on both ends of the court. Her first step was really good tonight.”
Nichols finished with 11 points, making it three straight games with double-digit points. Reed rounded out those in double figures with 10.
Out of the 12 Wildcats who received minutes in the contest, 11 of them got on the score sheet.
Holmes makes the trip to Marvin R. White Coliseum on Monday for a 6 p.m. tipoff.
CASHLESS BOX OFFICE
To help improve traffic flow and fan experience, PRCC athletics box offices will be cashless in 2022-23. Only credit and debit cards will be accepted at the box office. Fans are encouraged to beat the lines and purchase their tickets in advance at PRCCAthletics.com/Tickets.
Pearl River livestreams all home games 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 will also be available over the air in Pearl River County by tuning into 1320 AM and 106.9 FM. The radio broadcast is also available at WRJWRadio.com and by downloading the WRJW app.
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