February 18, 2011 8:33:00 AM
SCOOBA - In their final tune-ups prior to next week''s MACJC State Tournament, the East Mississippi Community College basketball teams closed their regular seasons Thursday by sweeping visiting Coahoma C.C. at EMCC''s Keyes T. Currie Coliseum.
The No. 13 EMCC men earned a 73-63 victory, while the women''s team won 55-38.
In the women''s contest, coach Sharon Thompson''s Lady Lions maintained their double-digit halftime lead (29-19) for the better part of the second half. Sophomore Kierra Jones, of Starkville, and Kemper County''s Chadisty Hickman led EMCC with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The EMCC women (14-8, 9-3 division) have won seven of eight. Coupled with Itawamba C.C.''s loss Thursday at Holmes C.C., the Lady Lions have clinched at least a share of their second MACJC North Division regular-season title in the last three years. ICC (8-3) will play Saturday at Mississippi Delta.
In Thursday''s nightcap, coach Mark White''s Lions outscored the visitors 22-5 in the final 11 minutes of the opening half to take a 28-20 halftime lead. EMCC''s lead never dipped below seven points throughout the second stanza.
Freshman point guard D.J. Evans led all scorers with 26 points, including 13 of 18 from the free-throw line. The former All-Metro Jackson selection at Brandon High School added four assists, three rebounds, and two steals. Sophomore forward Jonathan King had 17 points.
Now 20-3 and 11-1, the top-seeded Lions will be paired with No. 4 South seed East Central on Tuesday in the opening round of the MACJC State Tournament.
Women''s tournament play begins Monday at Copiah-Lincoln''s Mullen Gymnasium in Wesson.
n Holmes (M) 83, ICC 80; Holmes (W) 60, ICC 59: At Goodman, Louis Collins had 17 points to help Holmes (13-7, 7-4) edge ICC.
LaPrecious Nelson led all scorers with 19 points for ICC (16-6, 8-3), which fell into a tie in the loss column with East Mississippi C.C. for first place in the MACJC North Division.
In the men''s game, Will Hayden had 28 points as Holmes C.C. (6-16, 4-7) hung on to a 33-23 halftime lead to beat ICC (12-10, 6-5).
Melvin Morgan had a game-high 29 points for the Indians, who will play Saturday at Mississippi Delta.