Northeast Mississippi Community College men's basketball team saw an eight-point lead vanish quickly as Wallace State-Hanceville (Ala.) Community College walked out of Bonner Arnold Coliseum with a win on Tuesday, December 11.
Northeast (4-5) jumped out to an 8-0 advantage against the visiting Lions only to see Wallace State-Hanceville respond with a 31-6 run -- that included a 26-3 spurt in a 5:37-span -- in taking an 80-62 win over the Tigers.
KeDorian Sullivan got the scoring started early for the Tigers as the transfer forward tallied a bucket on Northeast's first offensive series of the night.
Tadarious Coburn's deuce with 19:30 left in the first half made it a 4-0 lead for the Tigers while a Tyler Brunson free throw gave the host a seven-point advantage just a minute later following Sullivan's second make of the night.
Acie Vance pushed the lead up to eight with his first attempt from the line with 17:28 left to play in the first half but Vance's second free throw was negated by a lane violation and Wallace State-Hanceville grasp the opportunity.
Following Vance's make from the line, Wallace State-Hanceville erased the eight-point lead quickly in just under two minutes as Marcus Johnson connected on a three-pointer with 15:36 showing to give the visitors a 10-8 lead they would never relinquish.
In a 5:37-span following Vance's free throw, Wallace State-Hanceville was able to go on a 26-3 run until a Brunson old-fashioned three-point play with 10:37 left in the opening period slowed down the run.
Brunson's three-point play made it a 26-14 game but the Lions kept up the pace and scored five straight following Brunson's points in capturing a 31-14 lead after Jestin Lewis connected on a three-pointer midway through the first half.
Brunson tried to keep the Tigers in the game as Wallace State-Hanceville made its offensive push.
Following Sullivan's bucket with 19:09 to go in the first half, Brunson was the only Tiger to hit a shot from the floor until Sullivan was able to find the range with 3:38 to play in the half.
During that time, Wallace State-Hanceville opened a 36-24 advantage with Brunson accounting for 15 of the Tigers' 18 points during the stretch. Vance accumulated the other three markers for Northeast – all on free throws.
Brunson was the only Tiger to score during Wallace State-Hanceville's 26-3 spurt as well – tallying a basket at the 13:53 mark and then knocking down a free throw with 12:19 showing.
After its offensive outburst, Wallace State-Hanceville settled down as Northeast found its range from the floor late in the first half.
Northeast cut the Lion lead down to nine at the break thanks to Sullivan and Vance.
Sullivan's field goal with 3:38 showing made it a 36-27 game and Vance kept the contest close with a jumper with 28 seconds left in the first half.
Northeast would cut into the Wallace State-Hanceville lead even more when Sullivan tallied the first basket of the second half for a 38-31 game and the Tigers would stay within striking distance until the Lions stretched their lead out in the end.
Northeast will look to end its 2012 fall campaign with a win when the Tigers travel to Gadsden, Ala., to take on Gadsden State Community College on Thursday, December 11. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. for the men's game.
Northeast Mississippi Community College forward Tyler Brunson (50) makes a move to the basket while teammate Cameron Shorty (54) blocks off a pair of Wallace State-Hanceville defenders during first half action of the Tigers and Lions basketball game on Tuesday, December 11.