Gallatin, Tenn. - The Northeast Mississippi Community College women's basketball team picked up its first victory of the young 2018-19 season during the longest road trip of the entire campaign.
The Lady Tigers shook off a three-hour, over 200 mile journey to Volunteer State (Tenn.) Community College and won by a score of 64-47 on Monday, November 12 at the Pickel Field House.
However, the triumph did not come without some early struggles for the second straight contest by the Lady Tigers. The Lady Pioneers actually held a 13-12 lead after the first following an 8-0 run near the end of the quarter.
Kelsey Harriman's three-pointer temporarily gave Volunteer State the advantage once again at 19-18. But LaJayla Turnage immediately responded with a trey of her own to give the Lady Tigers the lead for good at the midway point of the second period.
The Lady Tigers widened their lead after the break. Cherelle Jones collected two more points while Turnage drained another shot from long distance to make the score 34-23 in favor of Northeast at the 8:25 mark.
Northeast held Volunteer State (1-2) scoreless for nearly five minutes late in the third. The Lady Tigers posted eight unanswered points in that stretch, including a key three-pointer from Quitonya Webster, to move ahead 44-30.
The Lady Tigers were up 48-36 after three periods and never saw their advantage fall below double-digits in the fourth. Northeast's largest lead was 60-42 following another lay in from Jones with 2:55 to go.
"I thought we did well," said Northeast head coach Brenda Mayes. "They kept pushing and overcame that (early) deficit by putting on a little more pressure and causing some turnovers. I can see that they're getting a little bit more confident in what they have to do."
Jones was superb once again for the Lady Tigers with game-highs of 18 points and 14 rebounds. It was her second consecutive double-double and the 13th such performance of her sensational collegiate career.
"I feel like we earned it today," Jones said. "I told my teammates to not let them get up because we've got this and that's what we did. It's only the second game and we're going to keep getting better as time goes on."
Jones was Northeast's lone double figure scorer, but there were several other solid outings as well. Turnage finished second on the team with nine points and also contributed four steals plus three dimes.
Newson and Webster topped the Lady Tigers' freshmen with eight points apiece. Lanoria Abrams tacked on seven points, but was especially productive on the offensive glass with six of her eight total rebounds coming on that side of the floor.
Northeast forced the Lady Pioneers into committing 26 turnovers on the evening. The Lady Tigers' defense also held Volunteer State to a 30.5 field goal percentage and a 20-percent showing from behind the arc.
The Lady Tigers accumulated 27 points off of the Lady Pioneers' miscues and 40 points in the paint while shooting 38.2-percent overall. Northeast also compiled 20 total assists with Rogan's six dimes pacing that effort.
Northeast continues its busy pre-Thanksgiving week by playing Mineral Area (Mo.) College in the Northwest Mississippi Community College Tri-States Classic on Thursday, November 15. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Howard Coliseum in Senatobia.