Pearl River guts out overtime win against East Mississippi
Published 12:00 pm Sunday, February 5, 2023
The Pearl River men’s basketball team had to go into overtime to secure a 54-52 win against East Mississippi Thursday inside Marvin R. White Coliseum.
“If we are on the road, we probably lose this game,” PRCC coach Chris Oney said of the hard-fought contest. “Our fans, the band, the people rooting for us pushed us over the hump.”
The Wildcats (13-6; 5-4 MACCC) took control early in the first half, with Cam Brown (Hattiesburg) scoring the first basket of the night. After East Mississippi (15-3; 6-2) tied the game, 2-2, the Wildcat offense went to work. Defensive pressure by Ayub Nurhussein (Hamilton, Ontario; Toronto Basketball Academy) and Dylan Brumfield (Oak Grove) led to a Lion turnover, and Brumfield converted the turnover into a Wildcat basket. Brown and Dyllion Redmond (Jackson, Miss.; Callaway) scored on back-to-back possessions to bring the lead to 8-2. Carlous Williams (Hattiesburg; Harrison Central) completed a Wildcat 9-point run with a 3-pointer, 11-2.
East Mississippi answered with an 8-point run to bring the score to 11-10. After a PRCC timeout with 11:32 left in the half Williams got the Wildcats back on the scoreboard with a quick basket. After EMCC scored on its next two possessions to take a two-point lead, 14-12, Brumfield found Williams for a monster alley-oop dunk, bringing the coliseum crowd to their feet. Williams helped keep the momentum in the Wildcats favor with a block on the ensuing Lion possession. On the next Wildcat possession, Brumfield hit Jermarhi Hill (Bessemer, Ala.; Berkmar), cutting across the baseline for another dunk. Brumfield called his own number and hit a mid-range jumper to cap a 6-0 Wildcat run giving PRCC an 18-14 lead.
After both teams struggled to find a rhythm, Williams hit another 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 25-20 advantage. After an East Mississippi shot clock violation, Brown hit a 3-pointer right at the buzzer, and the Wildcats went into the break with a 28-20 lead.
East Mississippi opened the second half outscoring PRCC 12-9 and closing the deficit to 37-32. After a PRCC timeout with 8:17 to play in the second half, Brumfield, trapped on the sideline by two Lion defenders found Nurhussein open at midcourt. Nurhussein took the pass from half-court and scored on an emphatic dunk in front of the PRCC student section.
Nurhussein scored on a layup on the possession to bring the Wildcat lead to nine, 41-32. EMCC answered with seven straight points, Wildcats lead 41-39. Hill ended the Lions run with a jumper in the paint.
Coming out of a timeout with 4:31 remaining, Hill answered a Lions basket with a jump shot from the free throw line. Following an East Mississippi free throw, Brown hit a big 3-pointer from the wing to bring the PRCC to lead to six, 48-42. East Mississippi tied the game, 48-48, at the end of regulation.
Both teams struggled to score in overtime. Nurhussein scored on a putback giving PRCC a quick advantage, 50-48. EMCC scored to tie the game, 50-50. After a Wildcat miss, Williams kept the Lions from scoring with a pivotal block. Brumfield pushed the lead back to two on a layup with 39 seconds remaining, 52-50. Brumfield converted two free throws with 21 seconds remaining. A Wildcat goaltending cut the PRCC lead to two, 54-52. After missed baskets by both teams, the game ended with a Wildcat 54-52 victory.
LEADING THE WAY
Williams scored 15 points with six rebounds, two blocks and an assist.
Brumfield contributed 14 points, four assists and Brown had 10 points, seven rebounds and one block.
Nurhussein added six points on the night, but where he left his mark on the game was defense.
“The first possession he was locked in and determined to not let Butler go off and beat us,” Oney commented on Nurhussein. “We don’t win the game without his defensive effort.”
The Wildcats return to the court on Monday when they travel to Goodman to take on the Holmes Bulldogs. Tipoff is 6:00 PM and will be livestreamed at holmesccmedia.com.