Ellisville, Miss. - The Northeast Mississippi Community College men's basketball program has extended what is tied for the longest consecutive streak of postseason appearances among Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division members.
The fifth straight journey into the playoffs for the Tigers begins with a date against Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in the first round of the 2019 MACJC State Tournament on Tuesday, February 26.
Tipoff for the fourth and final contest on the opening day of the men's competition is slated for 7:30 p.m. at A.B. Howard Gymnasium on the campus of Jones College.
Every Northeast game in the MACJC State Tournament will air live and in high definition on NEMCCTV. Tune in starting 10 minutes prior to tipoff for the pregame show by visiting www.nemcctv.com on any computer, tablet and smartphone device or by searching for "Northeast Mississippi Community College" on Roku or Amazon TV.
The Northeast Broadcasting Network also includes radio affiliate WOWL Fun 91 of The Eagle Radio Network. An audio simulcast of all playoff matchups for the Tigers can be heard on frequencies 91.9 FM from Burnsville, 92.9 FM from Florence, Ala., and 102.3 FM from Killen, Ala.
This is the first meeting between Northeast and the Bulldogs in two years. The Tigers won that particular matchup 87-73 to clinch a berth in the 2017 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 23 Tournament championship game.
Northeast enters the postseason as the runner-up in the MACJC North Division after winning eight of its last 11 outings. Mississippi Gulf Coast (19-4) is the three-seed from the MACJC South Division by virtue of its 11-3 conference ledger.
The Tigers completed the regular season with an 18-5 overall record, which is their best effort to date under head coach Cord Wright. Northeast, which is receiving votes in the latest NJCAA Division I poll, had compiled a 17-6 mark prior to the playoffs in each of the last two years.
"Anytime you can continue to play into the postseason then you're going in a positive direction," said Wright. "We're looking forward to going down there and putting together a good week. We're excited."
Northeast is accumulating 85 points per game, which is the most since Wright took over the program during the 2013-14 campaign. No Tiger averages more than 15 points for the second straight season, but there are seven players that score more than seven points on any given night.
Clinton High School graduate Denzel McDuffey guides Northeast once again during his sophomore campaign with 14.4 points. The reigning MACJC All-State selection was also the Tigers' leading scorer one year ago.
Two local products in Ashland's DeAnthony Tipler and Felix Hayes from Baldwyn account for 14 and 10.9 points per outing, respectively. The tandem of guards has both been selected as MACJC Player of the Week this season.
The Bulldogs have three athletes that average double-digits just like Northeast. DaJuan Moorer heads that group with 11.7 points while Keevon Oney and LaRaymond Spivery both post almost identical figures of 11.1 and 11 points.
The Tigers are the top rebounding team in the Magnolia State with 44.8 boards per matchup. Antares Gwyn of Corinth, who was the MACJC's individual rebounding champion during his freshman campaign, leads Northeast again with 8.8 boards.
"I think as a whole the regular season was successful. We chalk it up as a positive," Wright said. "But at this point, we're putting all that aside and moving on. We're in one game at a time situations from now on."
The winner between the Tigers and Mississippi Gulf Coast will face the victor of the Mississippi Delta Community College versus Jones contest in the semifinals on Wednesday, February 27. The men's championship game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. one night later.