February 4, 2009
STARKVILLE -- The Starkville Yellow Jackets didn''t need a last-second shot from Rashad Perkins in overtime to beat the Noxubee County Tigers on Tuesday night.
He couldn''t have provided it anyway.
First of all, there was no overtime like when Perkins'' bucket gave Starkville a 96-95 victory at Noxubee County on Jan. 24.
Second of all, the Yellow Jackets didn''t have Perkins, who is serving a three-game suspension for an unspecified violation.
Starkville got contributions from Edward Townsel, Eduardo Fumo, Jeff Jernigan and Bryce Brown that made up the difference as the Yellow Jackets defeated the Tigers 80-59 at the Starkville High School Gymnasium.
Townsel scored 23 points and dished out 11 assists to lead Starkville (21-3) to the victory.
Noxubee County coach T.J. Billups said the Tigers didn''t have an answer for defending Townsel.
"We couldn''t stop his penetration," Billups said. "There was nothing we could do. We ran two at him and he split us. He was the key."
Along with Townsel, Brown scored 17 points, Fumo scored 16 points and Jernigan had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets.
For a player who only averages seven points per game, Fumo was excited to help out.
"I just stepped up and played because Rashad is not here," Fumo said.
Starkville coach Greg Carter said it means a great deal to him to see other players respond.
"We''ve talked throughout the year how we needed to have some guys step up and do a little bit extra," Carter said. "I thought we had that tonight."
The Jackets jumped out to a 10-0 lead to open the first quarter and never looked back. The Tigers cut their deficit to 18-12 in the second quarter, but that was as close as they would be the rest of the way.
"They stepped their energy level up a notch because it was Senior Night and we couldn''t match it," Billups said. "It was too hard for us to recover."
Shaunessy Smith, a Mississippi State signee, scored 29 points for Noxubee County (13-11), but it was far fewer than the 41 points he dropped on Starkville in the previous meeting.
"I thought we guarded a whole lot better this time than we did last time," Carter said. "We gave them so many free looks the last time we played and we let (Smith) get into a rhythm. This time he really didn''t get into a rhythm until the fourth quarter and he missed a lot of shots along the way. They depend heavily on his offense. They''ve got some other guys that can score, but those guys don''t score as well unless he''s scoring."
Carter believed a 27-12 lead with 5 minutes and 21 seconds remaining in the first half was enough to give the Jackets the cushion they needed.
"It was a game of runs and fortunately for us, we were able to build a little bit of a lead in the first half so we could withstand the run from them," Carter said.
n Noxubee County 69, Starkville 64 (G): This time it was the girls game that went to overtime and the Noxubee County Tigerettes took advantage for the victory.
Jeraldine Campbell made 20 of 24 shots from the free throw line and finished with 32 points as Noxubee County (11-9) got redemption against the Lady Jackets, who won 60-51 in Macon.
"They came to our house and beat us so we just wanted to return the favor," Campbell said.
Campbell made seven of her free throws in overtime as the Lady Jackets had trouble keeping her from getting the basketball.
"Jeraldine is a fantastic player and we just couldn''t stop her in overtime," said Starkville coach Kristi Williams. "We allowed her to drive to the basket uncontested. When you allow a player like that to get to the basket, she is either going to score or get fouled, go to the line and score there. That''s what she did tonight."
Brianna Brooks scored 16 points for the Tigerettes, while Cierra Chandler scored 10 points. That made up for the loss of point guard Shanteria Tate who was out with a sprained ankle.
"It''s a good feeling when you know you can go to your bench and they step up to fill here spot," said Noxubee County coach A.E. Williams.
Kierra Jones scored 21 points for Starkville (15-8) and Kala Williams chipped in with 11 points.