Booneville, Miss.,--Northeast Mississippi Community College men and women's basketball teams shook off any post-Thanksgiving holiday sleepiness with a sweep of Meridian Community College in the Tigers and Lady Tigers first games back from the holiday break.
Both Tiger and Lady Tiger basketball teams will use the momentum from the sweep when Northeast opens North Division play against Itawamba Community College in Fulton on Thursday, November 29. Tipoff for the women's game is set for 6 p.m. while the men will see a late 8 p.m. tip.
In the opener, Alexander and company broke open a four-point game at the break with a 46-point outburst in the second half keyed by Kay K Tate who finished with a game-high 24 for the Lady Tigers.
Tate got plenty of help from her teammates during a 15-2 run over a 5:55 stretch in the second half that saw the Lady Tigers expand a 55-50 advantage to a 70-52 lead with 4:14 to go in the game.
Von Hall go the run going for Alexander's crew and five other Lady Tigers got in on the scoring action during the streak as Jermerica Moore's deuce with 7:41 left gave the host a 60-52 lead but it was the duo of LaTonya Gadison and Talisa Boyd that put the game on ice for the Lady Tigers.
Following Kiki Gwyn free throw with 7:09 remaining, Gadison and Boyd took over on the offensive end for Northeast with Gadison tallying six points and Boyd three – all coming on an old-fashioned, three-point play with 5:15 showing.
Meridian would finally end the run when Gelese Lampton connected on a deuce with 4:07 left in the game but Tate quickly swashed the effort with a hoop-and-harm on the ensuing offensive possession for the Lady Tigers.
In the nightcap, David Robbins survived a run by the Eagles late in the contest to clinch its third win of the year.
Northeast held a 10-point lead with just over four minutes remaining in the contest but Meridian's Aubrey Humphery brought the Eagles back into the contest.
Following a Humphery make with 4:01 to go, Billy Jackson knocked down a free throw to give the Tigers a nine-point advantage with 3:10 showing but Humphrey and the Eagles would not go away quietly.
Will Sheriff's three-pointer cut the lead to 63-57 and a trio of free throws by Humphery – including a pair with 31 seconds left sliced the Northeast lead to 63-59.
Keldrick Lesley's running jumper gave the host a five-point cushion but Michael Hutchins' erased Lesley's gain with a pair of freebies with 29 seconds left on the clock.
Nick Waters got the visitors to within two in the waning seconds of the game – 66-64 but Tyler Brunson swished a pair of free throws to give the host a 68-64 advantage.
Humphrey's bucket once again cut the game to two at 66-68 but Brunson made the Eagles attempt a three-pointer with 5.4 seconds remaining when he made the front end of a two-shot foul and the Eagles weren't able to get a clear look at the basket.
Humphery finished with a game-high 25 for the Eagles.